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Clergy moving away from legal marriages might affect family law

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2014 | Family Law

When some Christians get married, they turn to the pastor or priest of their church to perform the ceremony. In those cases, the pastor or priest usually officiates the ceremony and then signs the form that is filed with the government to legalize the union. Many Christian leaders, and Christians as a whole, are saying it is time for that tradition to stop. That, however, could greatly impact the state of marriage in Colorado.

The majority of respondents to a survey conducted by LifeWay say that marriage shouldn’t be regulated by the state. Almost half say that the state’s recognition of marriage and the religious wedding shouldn’t be intertwined. A little over a third of pastors say that clergy shouldn’t be involved in the licensing of a marriage.

The separation of religious wedding ceremonies and government licensing of marriages could be interesting. In essence, that would mean that couples who have a marriage ceremony in a church by a clergy member who isn’t recognized by the state would be in a marriage not recognized by the state — unless the couple filed for a marriage license and had someone recognized by the state perform the union.

One reason for the tension between the state and clergy is same-sex marriage. Despite the fact that clergy members aren’t compelled to perform these marriages, some Christians say that the acceptance of same-sex unions is moving the meaning of marriage away from what God intended.

For anyone who is legally married, certain protections and rights exist. If the legal marriage doesn’t last, the couple has to file for a divorce to end the marriage. Doing this can be complicated, but proper preparation can make it easier.

Source: Ministry Matters, “1 in 3 Americans want a divorce between clergy and civil marriage” Cathy Lynn Grossman, Dec. 03, 2014