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Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh

Self-Uniting Marriage License

Hi, Could someone give me more info on the self-uniting license.  How to get the license.  Timeline in terms of when to get it.  I tried to call the Allegheny count office but no one answered and there was no voicemail set up.  I really want a family member to marry us but my mom is nervous about the legality of it, haha.  If anyone who has done it could help me out I (and my mom) would appreciate it.  Thanks!

Re: Self-Uniting Marriage License

  • Click here for a previous post on this topic - I saved the link for my own reference because we're hoping to do this too. 


  • We're getting a self-uniting license. We're Heathens (Norse Pagans, basically) and the clerk's office couldn't give me a definite answer on officiants of that faith (we have no central governing body, which means there is no one to "ordain" us in the church sense, though we do have a congregation and are recognised as spiritual leaders within that congregation). We'll have someone basically emceeing our ceremony because I doubt people would really get it, plus we don't want to have to remember everything. But we are doing oaths (vows) and will have our wedding party act as witnesses.

    If Allegheny county gives you any sort of hassle about having to prove you're a Quaker to get the license, they're violating the law. The ACLU brought a suit in 2009 (I believe) because the clerk was denying people the license. The county was found to be violating religious freedom, as well as the state law pertaining to that license (it doesn't state you must be a Quaker to use it).

    Mini-rant about PA's laws: I plan on contacting the ACLU at some point to see if this can be clarified. ULC ministers have won the right to to legally perform marriages in three or four counties, and were deemed not eligible in one (though the consensus is that judge seriously overstepped his authority). This commonwealth stuff is jacked up, and the law is too ambiguous which makes people nervous. At this point, ULC is recognised in all but York county. There were decisions in Bucks and two other (one being where Philadelphia is) that upheld ULC ministers as legal officiants. (I'm a ULC minister as well as clergy within my faith, so it's a bit of a sore spot with me, so please pardon the rant).
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