The ULC files legal action in Pennsylvania
The ULC has vowed to defend the rights of its ministers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Many ULC ministers have brought to our attention that local officials in certain counties in Pennsylvania have cast doubt on ULC ordinations and the rights of its ministers – doubt that has caused particular confusion when it comes to the validity of marriages performed by ministers in that state.

We have long promised to defend the rights of our members to practice their faiths freely, and this instance is no different.

Our attorneys formally filed a Federal suit today against officials in Bucks County, Pennsylvania asserting that this office prevented one of our ministers from asserting his legal right to practice his faith and solemnize a legally binding marriage ceremony.

Although the ongoing pandemic likely means that things will progress at a slower pace than is typical, we are optimistic that we will achieve a positive resolution.

Rest assured: we will not stop until the rights of all our members in Pennsylvania are definitively secured across the Commonwealth. We will continue to keep you updated on this front.

What You Need to Know in the Meantime

Until we reach a resolution, we urge anyone planning to officiate a wedding in Pennsylvania to reach out to the officials that issue marriage licenses in their area prior to the ceremony to confirm with them what would be required to officiate a wedding.

If you do happen to have a negative interaction with any county or other government official in Pennsylvania, please contact us directly.

Contributing to the ULC Legal Defense Fund

As we’re sure you can imagine, these efforts are expensive (and we're simultaneously fighting a similar battle in Tennessee!).

We know these are difficult times for many, so please don’t feel obligated, but we wanted to give a heads up that we have created a ULC Legal Defense Fund website where you can contribute to our efforts.

100% of every dollar contributed to that fund will be used to cover the legal fees incurred as we participate in cases regarding the validity of the ordinations of our ministers.

We greatly appreciate your ongoing support, and again – stay tuned for updates as these cases progress. 

58 comments

  1. Steven Lee's Avatar Steven Lee

    I support this wholeheartedly. Our rights to practice our religion was guaranteed by our founding fathers. It is not the place of the government, local, state or, federal, to mandate how we worship. I will go online and donate.

    1. ULC Admin's Avatar ULC Admin

      Appreciate the support, Steven! Thank you!

    2. Susan Marie LaLonde's Avatar Susan Marie LaLonde

      Amen to That!

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Y'all will be surprised to learn that I finally placed an order with the ULC Ministers Store this morning. My order number is 4291551. I ordered the book Practice Of The Presence Of God, 🌟 Ministers handbook, wallet size ministers credential and sleeve, and a ULC Ministers cap. Tried to donate ten dollars, but don't think it took, so I'll have to try again. I apologize for flying off the handle sometimes by saying inappropriate things, when I get overwhelmed and emotional, about whatever's going on, and won't make any excuses for that, except to say that I'm not wrapped too terribly tight. But I am definitely trying to get better. Thankyou

      1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

        Comment removed by author.

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    Spiritualism, what ever belief you subscribe to, is one of our most cherished rights protected by the constitution. I fail to see how ANY government office can deny what is the very core of our rights in this country. But, considering what I have seen coming out of our government in the last 30 years I am not surprised that this fundamental right is now on the chopping block. An old saying comes to mind that I believe fits: "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat history. " Seems that we are coming full circle. As most here are aware, there are some beliefs that I simply do not care for. Having said that, I would NEVER deny anyone the right to believe as they wish. Marriage is a deeply personal spiritual belief and as such should never have fallen under government control. Peace.

  1. Rev.Dr. Jim MacGregor H.'s Avatar Rev.Dr. Jim MacGregor H.

    i think it is abominable that PA has been allowed to do this in PA (my home state) for so long. Again, they only single out ULC ministers other ministers should also rise to the cause and show support. This is the most ridiculous law with malice and prejudice behind it. It must be abolished.

  1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

    @Shawn Allen Hank, which religion would you have decide criteria for your faith? Should any religion decide criteria for any other religion at all?

    This country was founded with religious freedom. Would you have that undone?

    1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

      THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS BEST DON'T THEY ?

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        I love my country, but hate my government.

  1. Carroll E Bowers's Avatar Carroll E Bowers

    I agree with your pursuit to having a uniform decision statewide on this issue. I have found that some counties will accept ULC as a ministry but others will not. There has been a bill in Harrisburg to change the law but it is stuck in committee since 2019. There was a time when ministers followed their calling and did not need a fancy degree. My family had a few Pastors who did not go to a Bible College but we all knew they were true in their beliefs. Today many have become ministers for the money they can make instead of serving to make lives better. I became an officiant because my granddaughter and her fiance asked me to perform their wedding ceremony. I feel blessed an honored to do so. I do not have a brick and mortar building but share the message of how my beliefs have formed my life. I spent about 6 months years ago in a Pastor's class learning to become a minister and left because most of the teachings were about raising money, growing the size of your congregation to raise more money, raising money to build bigger churches and so on. I believe the ULC ministry program will allow me to assist those who wish to explore their beliefs and allow me to share and help people to grow. Good luck in this suit and please keep us informed.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      My favorite movie was called Catch Me If You Can, and I bet I can convince them that I have a fully accredited PhD in divinity from ULC University.

  1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

    Yield not to the darkness of ignorance my fellows. Know that no matter if clouds may come to hide the moon and stars. For soon the dawn will break, the light of truth and hope will wash away ignorance and fear.

    Bring the light, be the light, we are the light.

  1. Gail Dobson's Avatar Gail Dobson

    Made donation, disappointed you didn't take Paypal. Bought many supplies from your store a few years ago. Marriage is a private, civil contract. Clerks of the court, ship captains, some other secular individuals are authorized to perform marriages. There is no reason to require that the officient be a "minister" or any other 'church' representative, but if the state is going to allow 'ministers' to marry, they must allow 'ministers' of any church to perform the ceremony.

    1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

      Very good point Gail

  1. Michael Gabriel's Avatar Michael Gabriel

    I will try and donate to this cause being a vessel to proclaim a union of two people in the presents of our God. This Is what we do everyday through our ability to help our fellow man(man is not a gender but merely short for human) become filled with the spirit of God this is our intention through marriage as well as friendship or even a simple smile and a nod our first mission is always to spread love, charity and good will.

  1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

    What is a legcapal fee?

    1. ULC Admin's Avatar ULC Admin

      It's how you spell "legal fee" when you're really tired 😉 Fixed -- thanks for the correction!

      1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

        That's the first typo I've ever seen here, so you are doing great on that front. Tired or not :.)

        I had thought it was a synonym I couldn't find in the law dictionaries. Hahaha!

  1. William R Clapie's Avatar William R Clapie

    My county (Mercer) in PA only recognizes ministers with a "congregation and a brick and stone church".

    I had read that by precedence that marriages by ministers such as myself were accepted in PA. I sit corrected. I have been asked to perform a wedding but it would not be viewed as valid in my county. No, travel to other counties is not an option.

    Hope some folks have a valid suggestion.

    1. ULC Admin's Avatar ULC Admin

      Hi William -- while we aren't able to offer you legal advice, we can assure you that the Church's position is that its PA ministers are qualified to perform legal marriages under state and federal law, and always have been. We filed this lawsuit to help clear up the confusion that has been cropping up so we can confirm those rights, and don't intend to rest until that has been achieved.

    2. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

      Where every other state in the US recognize ULC members I would let them know politely by registered mail that its your intention to bring legal action against them for civil rights violations make sure the mail is registered mail. then take them to court my money says it will never get that far.

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    Sorry William be sure to let them know you are a certified ordained minister of ULC with a letter of good standing and they are in violation of your civil rights.

  1. Robert S. McCann's Avatar Robert S. McCann

    I don't agree with the fact that the government is trying to silence is. However, we do have the responsibility of obeying the laws of the land. I'm not saying that we should stop fighting. I'm saying we need to unify in prayer and seek the Lord for what his will and plans are. Matthew 6:33 makes this clear.

    1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

      All life is about change, yeah? Ever evolving. Laws do change, so I am curious to learn what naughtiness Pennsylvania intends to introduce by changing laws that govern the ULC.

      "Law of the Land" as described by Marcus Tullius Cicero in "De Officiis" - letters and essays to his son, are very different from anything most of us are familiar with. Took about 1,500 years (and a lot of dead bodies over fishing rights) before Hugo Grotius came along to separate land and sea by introducing "Mare Liberum". Over the next 400-ish years, those grew into the "Doctrine of the Sea", then "League of Nations", then United Nations. (Per the NOAA... interesting history there.) While mostly canon laws established by the Catholic Church rule lands.

      I'm thinking the Lord is not much in the thoughts of lobbyists and money changers when it comes to making or breaking laws. Being proactive is a must, so it seems. Never hurts to pray though :.)

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    Follow the money Just think of it if a person can go on line pay a few buck's and bam! they have all the rights that a minister that just came out of four years college and paid a fortune for a degree to hang on the wall . When for less than one hundred buck's you get the wall degree you can buy the same clothing and the states will recognize you as a minister and you can lawfully do all the things he can. What will all the professors do and the schools where it's in the neighborhood of 180,000 or you could just go to ULC for 100 buck's and it takes about 4 minutes and BAM! Gold seal and all ! not saying ULC is wrong after all this is Capitalism ! But one thing to remember in our brave new world this Capitalistic Government can do seemingly anything they want ! Have a great day and God bless

    1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

      I feel it is also about quieting individual thinkers and doers. With so much pressure accumulating from numerous directions, it can be difficult for someone to keep supporting what has not supported them. Dunbar's Number comes to mind again. Claiming or reclaiming individuality is a threat to mainstream religions and one-party systems.

      Currently there is an appearance(?) of main U.S. parties breaking down. Add 'Human Capital' as discussed in U.S. Code, control over individuals that COVID19 has made possible around the world, and Agenda 2030's focus on equal rights and other endeavors to achieve globalization. Friedman and others have been discussing this for a long time.

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    Follow the money Just think of it if a person can go on line pay a few buck's and bam! they have all the rights that a minister that just came out of four years college and paid a fortune for a degree to hang on the wall . When for less than one hundred buck's you get the wall degree you can buy the same clothing and the states will recognize you as a minister and you can lawfully do all the things he can. What will all the professors do and the schools where it's in the neighborhood of 180,000 or you could just go to ULC for 100 buck's and it takes about 4 minutes and BAM! Gold seal and all ! not saying ULC is wrong after all this is Capitalism ! But one thing to remember in our brave new world this Capitalistic Government can do seemingly anything they want ! Have a great day and God bless

  1. Shawn Allen Hank's Avatar Shawn Allen Hank

    All the one-sided comments refuse to acknowledge proper chaplaincy or ordination. Just because you pay $30 or whatever to be a chaplain or have credentials of ordination does not mean the proper skill set, competency, training, and education has been acquired. Sorry to disagree, but if PA thinks ULC ministers received ordination in the form of a diploma mill, then the state of Pennsylvania has every right to deny that ordination. Some states require a Theological Studies Masters to begin to apply for chaplaincy through a state’s board. The members of this site went online and purchased their ordination, but that does not mean states have to recognize ULC ordinations. Good luck with the litigation.

    Minister Shawn

    1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

      So if let's just say ULC wins should all the ministers who don't believe in ULC then give them and their ministers respect or would you still need a masters or if the governing authorities that have been Instituted by God and have no authority except from God if they find in favor of ULC would you then consider it God will and treat them as peers very interested in educated viewpoints Thank you .

      1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        Maybe you could try to show yourself capable of an educated post before asking for others to waste much time upon you Stanley.

        You seem woefully ignorant about the ULC and we who are ordained here, but most of us are not followers of a traditional view of a deity like God, and tend to see those who still cling to such archaic ideas as little different then adults who still think the tooth fairy will put money under their pillow for a tooth.

        Then again its not like your not obviously a troll who likely sides with those who stormed the capital building and proudly waved the symbol of traitors in an act of sedition.

      2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        We're all children of the same universe.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Ground control to Major Tom.

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Did y'all know that harbouring resentments is not a spiritual virtue, but a character defect. And it will only bring you down, Joseph.

    4. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

      So if we all have a theological studies masters, and then we all have the same knowledge could we then consolidate and just have one religion, seeing as we now are all masters, or do people with masters still disagree on certain aspects scripture.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        We don't have dogma in Wicca Stanley, and ULC isn't a religion where everyone believes in all the same things. We are members of different religions, spiritual paths, and ways of life, but accept the basic tenets of this ministry. If you haven't seen them, look for them. They are on this site. I'm not going to take the initiative to do the work for you. All the degrees they sell at the Minister's bookstore are honorary, and doesn't mean we all took the same course to get them. Whatever you think is an appropriate form of study for you to feel you've mastered the subject is all that's required, in addition to paying for the certificate.

    5. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

      The hierarchy for laying out restrictions is federal, state, local. With federal being least restrictive. Local being potentially most restrictive. Restrictions at any level must align with the Constitution and Bill of Rights, each of which clearly specifies freedom of and from religion.

      Carl Schmitt was a Nazi who wrote "Political Theology", in which it is stated, "the sovereign is he who decides on the exception." That is what Pennsylvania is attempting to do. Change the Constitution and Bill of Rights, to decide a religious exception.

      No bueno.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Best wishes, and y'all are in my projected thoughts and prayers. Maybe us Wiccan ministers can work some magick, to help y'all win your case. I'll certainly do what I can. Blessed be!

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Thank you.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Y'all might be glad to know that our electricity has been back on for a day and a half, here in Galveston, and the temperature is now 39 degrees. Not much water pressure yet, and it's not getting hot, but atleast we h a be some water now. I still have plenty of Perrier. I buy a case of it every month. And I've got some spring water too, to make coffee with.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Especially, do not feign affection.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I thought Daniel Gray would have a lot to say about this. I wonder what's keeping him.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      I heard Daniel Gray and flugo got married, recently. Maybe they're still on their honeymoon.

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    Maybe it should be a town by town thing or state by state thing or a Test or just let each town county or state and some overseer with a stamp certify each church and it's ministers it's easy once the gov gets involved one thing a minister must stand at least 5'.0" to qualify

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    Just trying to think what a good uniform would be for the overseer maybe black and silver with tall black leather boots ya and maybe a riding crop to show the Authority of his position ya

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Or maybe shorter than you think, with a megaphone, shouting ,"Dirty deeds, and they're done dirt cheap!"

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    Forget all that, the "Colonel of the State police" in each state should be in charge of the "Church Ministerial licensor" they already have the uniform complete with boots garrison belt lanyard strap not to mention the glock and full appearance of Authority seams fair and that way we get yo keep our religious freedoms just follow the rules fill out the paper work and the licensor grants the license it that simple. no one saying we cant have our religious freedoms. just go to wwwchurchministeriallicensor.gov

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    I think there's a state agency that has the Authority recognized by God, uniforms and all, they could be the Church overseers and licensors, and make the determination who can be and who can not be Ministers Reverends or what ever, that way we can keep our religious freedoms and it's all fair just follow the rules fill out the paper work pay a small fee and whatever else they deem necessary and that's it. once the government get's involved, it's simple. And each state already has it's own Authority's in place and each state can make up there own set of rules as they see fit ! glad I could be of help to this complicated question .

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      You cant even express a coherent thought stanley, your posts read like the rantings of a lobotomized trumpanzee.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      You sound like a communist, Marchand. Is that a Russian name. I bet Putin put you up to this, didn't he Stanaslav?

      1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

        Gentlemen thank you for recognizing the absolute absurdity of my communistic rant, I wrote that in hopes of letting people know just how ridiculous and dangerous this litigation is. If the state wins this the results could be catastrophic, and yes Mr. Elfstrom the Constitution and bill of rights at that point would be worthless. Come on guys, I thought the whole garrison belt, lanyard strap, not to mention the glock. But I have to say your response was priceless ! I haven't laughed that hard in twenty years thanks for that. God bless guys hope we win this thing. Minister Stanaslav.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    They can have all the made up rules they want, as long as it doesn't contradict the U.S. Constitution, or Bill Of Rights, which is the ultimate authority in this nation, whether your god likes it, or not. Tell your god I told you so. He knows better than to mess with me.

    1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

      Comment removed by author.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Mr. Marchand, I haven't made a profit since 1992, when I was twenty nine years old. No state or local government can take anything from my Disability pension. I've been permanently 100% disabled since my last bad motorcycle-automobile collision, when I was twenty five. I can rant and rave on this blog all I want, for nobody of any consequence will take me seriously, considering the affects of my severe closed head injury. Now we're talking about a left periorbital contusion. However, you must agree that I do have a way with words.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    To the best of my knowledge ULC is not a church, but an organization of and for ministers, and the licensing and ordaining of ministers, who share a few common beliefs, as well as beliefs or not of their own spiritual and/or religious paths.

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    Comment removed by author.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I almost made a comment about that SS uniform and American Nazis, but decided not to stoop that low, just yet. However, it was coming. I know Russia is no longer communist, but it sounded good anyway. And despite my devout American patriotism, I have a photographic print on my wall of St. Basil's Cathedral (next to Bartolome Esteban Murillo's version of St. Michael the archangel vanquishing the powers of evil beneath his feet), and also a CD called (You got it) Balalaika: Russia's most beautiful songs, which is probably the only word I know in Russian.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I did have a great uncle that was half Russian. He was married to my grandmother's sister Lucy Maniscalco. They were both devout Catholics, and patriotic Americans (like Joe Biden). Aunt Lucy outlived him, and is now 100 years old, probably from eating a lot of pasta and sucu.

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