§655. Authorization; penalties
1. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. The following may solemnize marriages in this State:
A. If a resident of this State:
(1) A justice or judge;
(2) A lawyer admitted to the Maine Bar; or
(4) A notary public under Title 4, chapter 19; [2011, c. 111, §2 (AMD).]
B. Whether a resident or nonresident of this State and whether or not a citizen of the United States:
(1) An ordained minister of the gospel;
(2) A cleric engaged in the service of the religious body to which the cleric belongs; or
(3) A person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body; and [2011, c. 111, §3 (AMD).]
C. A nonresident of the State who has a temporary registration certificate issued by the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics pursuant to subsection 1-A. [2011, c. 111, §4 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 111, §§2-4 (AMD) .]
1-A. Temporary registration certificate. The Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics may issue a temporary registration certificate to solemnize a marriage ceremony to an individual who is a resident of another state and who is authorized under the laws of that state to solemnize marriages.
A. An individual seeking a temporary registration certificate under this subsection must submit to the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics:
(1) A copy of a valid commission or other indicia of authority to perform marriage ceremonies in the individual's state of residence as proof of existence of the authority;
(2) A copy of the other state's statute that grants the individual authority to solemnize marriages in that state;
(3) The names and residences of the 2 parties whose marriage the individual proposes to solemnize and the expected date of the marriage ceremony; and
(4) A $100 registration fee. [2011, c. 111, §5 (NEW).]
B. Upon finding that the individual has satisfied the requirements of paragraph A, the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics shall issue to the individual a temporary registration certificate authorizing the individual to solemnize the marriage of the parties whose names were provided pursuant to paragraph A, subparagraph (3). The Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics may decline to issue a temporary registration certificate if complaints filed against the individual for actions in this State have been substantiated or for other good cause, even if the state in which the individual is authorized to solemnize marriages has not taken disciplinary action. [2011, c. 111, §5 (NEW).]
C. A temporary registration certificate does not authorize the individual to solemnize any marriage other than the marriage of the parties provided pursuant to paragraph A, subparagraph (3). [2011, c. 111, §5 (NEW).]
D. A temporary registration certificate under this subsection expires upon the individual's signing the marriage license or 90 days after issuance, whichever occurs first. [2011, c. 111, §5 (NEW).]
E. The Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics shall keep a permanent record of all temporary registration certificates issued under this subsection. The records must contain the name and residence of each individual to whom a temporary registration certificate is issued. [2011, c. 111, §5 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 111, §5 (NEW) .]
2. Enforcement. The State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall enforce this section as far as it comes within the state registrar's power and shall notify the district attorney of the county in which the penalty should be enforced of the facts that have come to the state registrar's knowledge. Upon receipt of this notice, the district attorney shall prosecute the person who violated this section.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, §2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, §2 (AFF) .]
3. Religious exemption. This chapter does not require any member of the clergy to perform or any church, religious denomination or other religious institution to host any marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of that member of the clergy, church, religious denomination or other religious institution. The refusal to perform or host a marriage under this subsection cannot be the basis for a lawsuit or liability and does not affect the tax-exempt status of the church, religious denomination or other religious institution.
[ IB 2011, c. 1, §4 (NEW) .]
1995, c. 694, §B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, §E2 (AFF). 2001, c. 574, §6 (AMD). IB 2011, c. 1, §4 (AMD). 2011, c. 111, §§2-5 (AMD).