CHAPTER NO. 745

HOUSE BILL NO. 2079

By Representatives Halteman Harwell, Burchett, Chumney, Haley, Boyer, McDaniel

Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 2594

By Senator Herron

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 36, Chapter 3, relative to persons who may solemnize marriages.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 36-3-301(a), is amended by deleting from the first sentence the language "All regular ministers of the gospel of every denomination, and Jewish rabbis," and substituting instead the language "All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other spiritual leaders of every religious belief,".

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 36-3-301(a), is further amended by designating the existing language, as amended, as subdivision "(1)" and by adding the following new subdivisions:

(2) Provided, however, in order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act.

(3) If any marriage has been entered into by license issued pursuant to this chapter at which any minister officiated before the effective date of this act, such marriage shall not be invalid because the requirements of the preceding subdivision (2) have not been met.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.

PASSED:

April 6, 1998

APPROVED this 15th day of April 1998