Mercy Junction hosts Ordination for those impacted by new Tennessee bill
A group of activists at Mercy Junction host an "Ordination Drop-In" Monday from 11 am to 6 pm, meant to combat the new Tennessee law banning people from getting ordained online.
In the past, if you could not afford, or find an officiant for your ceremony, the best option was to get a friend ordained online.
Since this new Tennessee bill passed, people have been scrambling to get ordained.
Over the weekend, Rev. Alaina Cobb ordained thirty people, and through this "drop-in" she hopes to do at least a dozen more.
They all say they want to continue helping an underserved population.
“He didn't pursue a specific path in life,” said Alaina Cobb. “So, it was the connection to the queer community.”
One of the first groups of people at the event was Minister Ray Laliberte, who received his certificate several years ago online.
At that time, he wanted to officiate his son's wedding.
“I felt what I was doing was ministering to them,” said Ray Laliberte. “So I let them outline, and essentially detail to me what they would like to have occurred at their ceremony.”
Laliberte has now done three weddings, and he's getting ready for his next one in July.
Laliberte is here to ensure he can provide everyone with the opportunity to get married.
“A privilege that I would like to exercise, and I wanted to make sure it wasn't taken away from me,” said Laliberte. “More importantly from someone who did not know our circumstance.”
The in-person ordination process takes less than two minutes to complete.
“When I ordain people I just offer them that simple forward blessing of them may you bless others,” said Cobb.
There are a few exceptions to the law.
State legislators, city council members, and police chaplains will be allowed to continue performing marriages even if they don't preside over a congregation at a place of worship.
As of July 1st, an internet-ordained minister will no longer have the authority to solemnize weddings.