"We have always pioneered the use of technology to radically change the ways in which we gather, worship, and celebrate as a society, and we're not done fighting yet."
SEATTLE (PRWEB) May 21, 2020
The Universal Life Church Ministries (ULCM) this week officially petitioned the Governors of 47 states to adopt new rules allowing marriage ceremonies to be legally solemnized via videoconferencing software tools like Zoom in response the the Covid-19 crisis.
In its announcement the ULCM cited the wide availability of technology that could facilitate the virtual solemnization of wedding ceremonies, but alleges that it is still illegal in the majority of states. Because many states continue to either ban or discourage gatherings of unrelated individuals, they argue, couples who would otherwise marry are forced to either violate orders or risk the safety of their community by gathering to obtain a valid officiant signature on their marriage license.
To their letter, the attorneys for the Universal Life Church Ministries attached the recent order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom of California, suggesting that other states that have not yet issued orders in this area might use it as a guide to formulate their own policies. Governor Newsom's order allows for wedding ceremonies to be officiated and witnessed remotely via videoconferencing.
The Universal Life Church Ministries frequently takes legal action to protect the rights of their ministers and members around the world. Most recently, they filed a lawsuit against the State of Tennessee after the legislature in that state passed a law stating that ministers who were ordained via the internet were not qualified to officiate legal wedding ceremonies in the state.
The Universal Life Church Ministries is perhaps most widely known for its provision of ordination online to anyone who "feels so-called" on its websites like http://www.ULC.org. It claims to have ordained over 20 million ministers. Ministers of the ULCM are frequent fixtures in the wedding announcement pages of newspapers around the country, as they are often asked to perform highly-personalized legal wedding ceremonies for friends and family members. In its announcement, the Church states that it has "...always pioneered the use of technology to radically change the ways in which we gather, worship, and celebrate as a society, and we’re not done fighting yet."