In a fit of self-indulgence, co-host Mike Ball filled in the week before New Year’s with a short show about a splendid and odd MA marriage law. He has availed himself of the one-day designation of solemnization law four times…and heartily recommends it.
Until recently when CA copied our law, we were the only state where plain folk, nearly any adult, could perform marriages. Under General Law Ch. 207, Sect. 39, citizens can petition the governor for the right to solemnize a single marriage to a specified couple in a particular municipality on a given date. You needn’t be a JP or cleric or public official, not even a mail-order minister.
The CA copy is looser than the MA model. The instructions at the MA Secretary of the Commonwealth’s solemnization page says you can generally do one a year. CA does not have that restriction and does not suggest you apply six weeks in advance.
This 22-minute show (click the player below) covers how it works and gushes about how satisfying it has been for Mike. Moreover, it was the catalyst for his original blog, Marry in Massachusetts, as well as the inspiration for his blogger tag, massmarrier. He originally thought he’d do one a year, but it’s worked out so far to every other year. So far, that’s been two marriages of long-term friends, one of his eldest son, and yesterday, that of a friend’s daughter.
There’s even been the political fit, as the second was a same-sex marriage the first year they were legal here. There doesn’t need to be any pretense or other deceit about being pro-marriage/pro-family here. We can live it in Massachusetts. Mike’s marriages have all lasted.
By the bye, the show did not cover that one-a-year rule. His son’s marriage was in June. However, he called the Governor’s office and heard his aide say, “That shouldn’t be a problem,” to do the second one six months later. It was not.
This show is just to let people know this is possible, as well as to recommend it.