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Are Baha'i Faith marriages legal in California?

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Are Baha'i Faith wedding ceremonies recognized in California?

The Baha'i Faith has no clergy so marriage licenses are signed by authorized officers of Baha'i Local Spiritual Assemblies (LSA's are "administrative" branches that function at the city level). According to my County Clerk's office, a valid signature must come from a priest, rabbi, minister, or judge.

Is this correct?


Senior Member
My response:

No, it's not. It's a load of bullcrap because the stupid clerk is absolutely IGNORANT !

The FIRST AMENDMENT to the United States Constitution:

"Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting An Establishment Of Religion,

Or Prohibiting The Free Exercise Thereof ;

Or Abridging The Freedom Of Speech, Or Of The Press; Or The Right Of The People Peaceably To Assemble, And To Petition The Government For A Redress Of Grievances."

The clerk that you spoke to obviously has his / her head up his / her ass - - and has never read the First Amendment.

Bring a copy of the First Amendment to the Constitution with you (Freedom of Religion) and the following California law. In effect, and by denying you (unlawfully), the clerk is also denying your rights to practice your religion and abridging your freedoms under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

You tell that clerk that a marriage is validly "solemnized" by an official of ANY religious denomination (priest, rabbi, etc.), a judge or retired judge, a court commissioner or retired commissioner, or a commissioner or retired commissioner of civil marriages (Ca Fam § 400), who must thereupon "authenticate" the marriage by endorsing the marriage license and returning it to the county registrar of marriages within 30 days after the ceremony (see Ca Fam §§ 422-424).

That no particular form for the marriage ceremony is required; but the parties must declare in the presence of the solemnizing official "and necessary witnesses" that they "take each other as husband and wife." [Ca Fam § 420(a) & (b)--solemnization not invalidated for want of conformity to requirements of ANY religious sect]

Exception for marriages under canon law: The normal solemnization requirements do not apply to members of a particular religious society or denomination not having clergy for the purpose of solemnizing marriage or entering the marriage relationship . . . provided (Ca Fam § 307):

· The parties endorse on or attach to their marriage license a signed statement showing (a) the fact, time and place of entering into the marriage; (b) the signatures and residences of two witnesses to the ceremony; and (c) the parties' religious society or denomination and that the marriage was entered into in accordance with the "rules and customs" of that society or denomination (conclusively presumed to be true) (Ca Fam § 307(a); see also Ca Hlth & S § 103180); and

· The License and Certificate of Declaration of Marriage, endorsed pursuant to § 307(a), above, is returned to the local registrar of marriages for the county that issued the license within four days after the ceremony (Ca Fam § 307(b); see also Ca Hlth & S § 103180(b)).


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