87th Texas Legislature

Proposed Bill Would Allow State Legislators, Governors to Perform Marriages

If the bill passes the act would allow the addition of new officiants and add rules regarding maximum compensation

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State representatives and governors could be added to the list of officials allowed to conduct marriage ceremonies in Texas if a proposed bill makes its way through the state legislature.

HB 2479, filed Monday by State Rep. Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio), would amend who is allowed to conduct a marriage ceremony to create an even larger pool of possible officiants.

Currently, Texas has one of the largest collections of recognized marriage officiants in the country, including:

  • Licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest
  • Jewish Rabbi
  • Officer of a religious organization authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony
  • Justices of the peace (active or retired, supreme court, the court of criminal appeals
  • Judges of the courts of appeals, the district, county, and probate courts, the county courts at law, the courts of domestic relations, the juvenile courts, municipal court (retired or active)
  • Associate Judge of a statutory probate court, or a county court at law (retired or active)
  • Judge or magistrate of the state or federal court (retired or active)

In addition to adding current members of the state legislature and the current governor or lieutenant governor of the state to the list, the bill will amend the Family Code by a few additional rules.

First, if a state employee is conducting the marriage ceremony they can not do it during the employee's normal working hours or pay for any postage with employee funds.

Also, those conducting the ceremony will not be permitted to receive a gift of more than $50 in value or any sort of compensation for the performance of the ceremony.

If passed, the Act will take effect on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

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