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As I discussed in Part One of this series of columns, valid marriages require a license, witnesses, and solemnization by a person who has been granted the legal—not simply the religious—authority to preside over weddings. Moreover, during the wedding, the officiant must obtain the express consent of the parties to marry and then declare them to be married. ...

In this column, I will discuss cases from several states that have invalidated marriages that were solemnized only by ministers ordained through the mail or online, with a special focus on New York, where the validity of such marriages is especially doubtful.



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