It’s a good question, we know. And we have some answers.

what is happening in Tennessee

They began with us…

In June of 2019, Tennessee lawmakers passed a law that explicitly banned ministers who were ordained online from solemnizing marriage anywhere in the state. As the largest and most well-known church providing ordinations via the internet, the law appeared to be aimed directly at the Universal Life Church (ULC) and its ministers.

We immediately filed a lawsuit in federal court against several Tennessee state officials to block the new anti-ULC law from taking effect, arguing that by removing their ability to perform marriages, the state of Tennessee was infringing upon the constitutional right of ULC ministers to freely practice their faith. 

Shortly after that lawsuit was filed, we were successful in convincing the judge to issue a temporary injunction blocking the new law from taking effect. We’ll get back to this lawsuit in a moment, but there is something else we want to discuss with you first.

When the anti-ULC law was initially passed, there were some who theorized that while the law outwardly targeted the ministers of the Universal Life Church, that there were other, invisible targets. As a forward-thinking, interfaith, and socially-active organization, we’ve seen that many of the folks who join and become ordained by the ULC, and indeed those who they marry, don’t always fit the “traditional mold.” 

In barring ULC ministers from solemnizing marriages in Tennessee, some argued, the law would ultimately have the consequence of prohibiting or limiting interfaith, interracial, same-sex, or otherwise “non-traditional” couples from finding a minister who would be willing to perform their wedding ceremony. 

New TN Law Would Limit “Objectionable” Marriages

Now, that effort appears to be escalating. As you may have seen, the Tennessee House of Representatives this week passed HB 878, a controversial new bill that would allow ministers and government officials to decline to perform any weddings they deem “objectionable” based on their religious beliefs. 

Some legal experts worry that these new protections could extend to county clerks, empowering them to deny marriage licenses to couples to whom they have a personal objection.  

HB 878 is now headed for a vote in the state Senate, where it is currently expected to pass.

We do not wish to alarm you, but the reality is that the good people of Tennessee face a future in which any “non-traditional” couple may not even be able to obtain a marriage license, let alone find a minister or official willing and able to officiate their ceremony. 

Through this calculated series of steps, under the guise of “religious freedom”, interfaith, same-sex, and interracial marriage could become de-facto banned throughout the entire state of Tennessee – potentially tearing apart thousands of families, and crushing thousands more before they even have the chance to blossom.

Current Status of ULC Ministers in Tennessee

But it doesn’t have to end that way. The ULC’s lawsuit, which we filed in 2019, is still ongoing. For the last 4 years, we’ve contended with delay after delay after delay as the state and local officials we sued have employed legal tactics to absolve themselves of responsibility and prolong our expensive battle. 

For that entire time, ULC ministers in Tennessee have had a giant question mark floating over their heads: “Can we perform marriages now?”. The frustrating answer we’ve been forced to provide is: “We don’t know.” While the injunction still stands and the anti-ULC law still has not taken effect, it remains unclear what the ultimate status of any marriage performed by a ULC minister would be in the event that we lose this case and all subsequent appeals.

We know many of you have been eagerly anticipating an update regarding our ongoing lawsuit… perhaps on this day more than any other over the last 4 years. On that note, we do have some good news to share: our case is finally scheduled to go to trial this August. 

While we remain faithful and optimistic that justice will prevail, and that the rights and freedoms of our ministers will be restored, we stand in solemn recognition that the Universal Life Church and its ministers could now be the last remaining barrier between the world of love, equality, and respect most of us have been trying to build… and the bold new experiment attempting to rewind the clocks of progress. 

How You Can Help In This Fight

Reading all of this, you might be frightened. We won’t lie: so are we. 

At the same time, we’re more emboldened and committed than ever to defending your right to practice your faith as you see fit, and the rights of the people you love to marry whomever they want, regardless of their race, color, creed, or sex. 

The Universal Life Church was founded on the basic belief that We Are All Children Of the Same Universe. From that core belief we derive the fundamental truth that all members of humanity, regardless of their innate characteristics, ought to be afforded the same rights and respect as any other. We don’t intend to stop fighting for that better future.

If you’d like to assist us in these crucial efforts, we urge you to consider donating to the ULC Legal Defense Fund. All contributions made to this fund go directly toward funding important legal efforts to protect the rights and freedoms of the ministers of the Universal Life Church… including helping us cover the bills in Tennessee. Your continued support makes all the difference, and we’re so grateful to have you on our side.

As soon as we have any further updates about the case, we’ll be sure to let you know.


  1. Canadian Yankee's Avatar Canadian Yankee

    Sadly the same political party that say they want government to be smaller and out of our lives, is the one pushing for bigger government intrusion and even to the extent of coming into our bedrooms.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      And look what we get since Regan promoted smaller government... SVB collapsing, Mormon $200 Billion Dollar tax fraud and the Mormon church owning $100 Billion dollars of Florida real estate, Bernie Madoff, real estate collapse, stock market collapse, corporate fraud like we have never seen, Tharenos, Nikola Trucks just to mention a few.

  1. Rohan Alexander's Avatar Rohan Alexander

    This is blatantly unconstitutional conduct from Tennessee. Let's be honest with ourselves: Tennessee will use this as an excuse to ban not only gay couples from marriage, but interracial couples, too. If you don't think it can happen to you, just wait.

    Just about the only "unconventional" marriages Republicans seem to approve of are old white men and 16 year old girls.

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    Republicans do everything they can to prove that they're a hate group.

    1. Robert Rodriguez Martinez's Avatar Robert Rodriguez Martinez

      I’m republican and I hate no one. What I associate with republican is fiscally conservative and socially conservative. I also don’t generalize about a group and say all democrats live in a basement or have green hair. Come on if we are adults let’s act like it. I’m married to a democrat and we have deep meaningful conversations about our government situation.

    2. Melda Lundstrom's Avatar Melda Lundstrom

      Past tense, they have already proven they are a hate group. Need I say more?

      1. Versie Tackett's Avatar Versie Tackett

        I live in Tennessee i am a Republican and i am ordained through ULC. NOT all republicans hate and also i am Non-denominational just FYI..

        1. Gregory de Castro's Avatar Gregory de Castro

          I appreciate that clarification. Too often, even well meaning folks carelessly generalize, . . creating further misunderstanding, confusion, division, and hatred. There are considerate and thoughtful people in both parties.

          1. Pink Clover's Avatar Pink Clover

            If someone is still a Republican after all this country has been thru for the past 6+ years we have an absolute right to generalize.

        2. Gordon Billingsley's Avatar Gordon Billingsley

          When you can proclaim yourself a Republican after all the party has done to destroy every American principle one can think of, it says more about you than you admit. It matters with whom you associate.

          1. James R Ashby's Avatar James R Ashby

            I thought this was a church where I practice my faith as I see it. The word of God. When I see political statements on this site, about hate it causes me to reconsider ULC. Gordon your statement says everything about.

    3. David Gannon III's Avatar David Gannon III

      Not all republicans should be stereotyped as a hate group. I, for one am a republican and I support a lot of our ideas. Separation of Church and State is a Constitutional right and I am for this one hundred percent. There is absolutely no room for hate and violence. We need to stop deciding who is to love who. Love is a union of two people who are dedicated to each other.

      1. Pamela Renee DeSalvo's Avatar Pamela Renee DeSalvo

        Thank you for your clarification. Signed Card Carrying Republican

        1. David Gannon III's Avatar David Gannon III

          I just wanted to clarify that to stereotype anyone is wrong. As a ULC minister, I treat everyone equally and respectfully as I would want to be treated.

  1. Justin Oakes's Avatar Justin Oakes

    I live in TN, and in 2018 I got married for the second time. Because I had been previously divorced, I couldn't find any local "Christian" ministers willing to perform a ceremony. My local county clerk used to perform these marriages, but has refused to perform them for anyone in protest since gay marriage was legalized. We found someone who had become ordained through the ULC who signed off on our marriage certificate, then put together our own ceremony. Not only was it everything we wanted in a wedding, but it gave us an option we wouldn't have had otherwise. Shortly after, my wife and I both got ordained through ULC so that we could help others in the same situation. Had we waited just one more year before getting married, I'm not sure we would have been able to. Even worse, I always wonder if the next step will be to null any marriages previously performed by online-ordained ministers, since the law itself is inherently unconstitutional anyway.

    1. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

      Justin, I am sorry this happened to you. I suppose a minister can refuse anyone for any reason, but the county clerk? That’s outrageous. What happened to the separation of church and state? Religion has no business in the county clerk’s office. Keep the faith. Hopefully, ULC will prevail in their lawsuit against the state of Tennessee.

  1. Andre' Carl Bedard Winter's Avatar Andre' Carl Bedard Winter

    It's unenforceable. Anybody can act as a minister. Licensed or not. Licensing is basically a ruse. I can draft my own certificate of church stating my declaration that I'm a man of Yahweh God that I follow the principles of the Bible. And God says I'm allowed to perform weddings. Asking the state for permission. It's like the 501c3 churches who have to ask the state for permission to be tax exempt when churches are already tax exempt. You just have to file a declaration not ask for permission.

    1. Rev. Jim Sutton's Avatar Rev. Jim Sutton

      In several states, one must register with the state in order to LEGALLY perform certain rites (like marriage). Otherwise, that state will not recognize the legality of the rite and the couple is left non-legally recognized. Plus, the state has the right to choose which ordaining organizations/churches it recognizes. Just filing a statement doesn't do it. Usually one has to provide paperwork from a State recognized source. If one is not legally recognized, all the rites, ceremonies, etc. that one does are just ceremonial window dressing and have no legal standing. As ULC, and other online ordination sites, state and strongly recommend, everyone should check with their state to see if they need to be registered in order to be legally recognized. The caveat is there. Just because you want it so, doesn't make it so.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Christians are at it again spreading hate.

    1. Alexander Walton Gothard's Avatar Alexander Walton Gothard

      That comment is horrible and shows how small you are! To make a blanket statement that Christians are hateful is representative of what you do not know.

      Christianity is based on the teaching of Jesus Christ (that is where the term "Christian" comes from). These lessons teach us to love our neighbors as our selves and to love God.

      To post "Christians are at it again spreading hate" shows a fundamental misunderstanding of who and what a Christian is.

      If you do not agree with a law currently being considered in Tennessee, that is a different matter.

      As Jesus said, " Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Render unto God what belongs to God."

      What is being taught in schools and other places is a social, mental, etc issue and very complex. To blame it on religion alone is very small minded

      1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

        Strawman, and the 'No true Christian' fallacies rolled together... impressive.

      2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        @Alexander Walton Gothard If you watch the news, see what's happening in our government and see what Christians are posting on YouTube, TikTok all they do is spread spreading hate. I am certainly not seeing the Christian members in our government, Christian talk show hosts, and podcasters are defiantly NOT doing what you say Christians should be doing. If Christianity is about teaching us to love our neighbors as our selves Christians must sure hate themselves.

        Aren't we all God's children? As you say Christians are supposed to be love they neighbor, So why do Christians attack God's children, our neighbors who God made LGBTQIA+? God created these people for Christians to love, so why don't they? Why do Christians hate it when when exercise control over their bodies? If Christians are teaching love and understanding why do they have a problem with students being taught critical thinking skills? And being taught about the incredible world God created for us? Please tell me why Christians have to lie about God's creations? God gave us science which has allowed us to see the beginning of time with telescopes, how life was created and has evolved.

        As a Christian, and and American tax payer how do you feel about the Church accepting over $200 Billion dollar in donations to feed the hungry, provide shelter to the homeless and provide aid to those in need. What do you think God and Jesus would do with that $200 Billion dollars? Use is to provide food, clothing and shelter to those less fortunate? Or do what the Christians did and buy Apple, Microsoft, Google stock and over $100 Billion dollars in Florida real estate. You do realize what the Church did was illegal and they they were finned and admitted guilt. And as a tax payer the church is has forced you to pay more in taxes and receive less government services.

        You might say I'm small making making a blanket statement but isn't this what Christians are doing? And isn't this why so many young people are leaving the Christian religion? They are tiered of all of this Christian hate in name of God. Women and chidden are telling stories of being rapped and molested by priests bishops, ministers and pastors. No exactly a strawman argument when their are well over half a million people telling their horror stories.

        Using your Christian love you insulted me calling me small. Is that what Jesus would do to me? So why as a Christian who follows Jesus are you?

        Could it be you are the small one? Try listening to stories of why people are no longer Christian on YouTube, TikTok or Facebook.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Although I don't know American laws and amendments Good 👍 for our brothers and sisters at ulc long may you reign

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    An attack on one is an attack on all. What is the next thing they will try? Is it really the government's job to say who can or cannot be ordained? Is it their job to decide how such ordinations should take place? Isn't that government deciding church policy? This is wrong on many levels.

  1. Andre' Carl Bedard Winter's Avatar Andre' Carl Bedard Winter

    Unenforceable. I can print up my own personal declaration and charter with my own personal manifest that I am a man of Yahweh God and practice in the artifice of Biblical law. Date it and sign it with notary witness. Its just as good as the universal Life Church. And universal Life Church would have to agree with me. Anybody can marry anybody without a license. People say don't you have to be licensed to be a priest? Nope. A 501c3 Church is a church that asks permission from the men instead of being ordained by God. In other words churches are automatically exempt. It's a complicated world with legal cold Tangled spaghetti. The bottom line if there's no tort and nobody has been hurt you can pretty much do what you want.

  1. Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN's Avatar Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN

    I am not afraid, I am madder than a wet hen! Recently I put a penne velvet and charcoal grey and black gown that I had bought for a group that I once belonged to and didn'y like it so it's been hanging in the closet for years, never worn. I am also an RN. After getting the required BSN, I was hired. I wore two pentacles, one a healer's and the other an elemental one. I was sent with my LPN to this patient's home to learn how to do.a wound VAC. Nothing much was said, but the patient saw my necklaces and said, 'Oh! You're one of those!, pointing at my pentacles. I said, "Yes," and then she says in a nasty snarl, "I suppose you heal as well too!!" I politely replied, "As a matter of fact, I Do." To me, that was the end of it. I got my tail called into the office and my boss had made up this ridiculous story that I had tried to "concert" her. Just showed her ignorance. Most of us probably have college degrees. So it wasn't from one of their preferred Christian schools, but it doesn't mean that we don't know our stuff. It's everywhere. You are looking at The Bible belt. They are very good at quoting scripture, but lousy at following it and yes, it sounds judgemental, but it is true. You can only live your truth. Then people understand that you aren't some monster, but a decent person who just has a different POV.

    1. Andre' Carl Bedard Winter's Avatar Andre' Carl Bedard Winter

      The pentagram is a symbol of Christian consciousness. The five wounds of Christ. Most people don't know that. All those people they were burning at the stake with the Catholic Church they were probably true Christians. The church didn't like it when you read the Bible. I wear pentagrams in court. I pray Jesus over my pentagrams. Then I ask anybody if anybody here has a claim against me. Judge? District attorney? Nobody answers and case dismissed. "You see these? You got 50 of them on the flag"

  1. Dr. Melly M.'s Avatar Dr. Melly M.

    Go ULC!!. I’m rooting for you and for our brothers and sisters. I live in TN and I don’t agree with their nonsense.

  1. Michaela Dorman's Avatar Michaela Dorman

    There are no issues with the bill passed by Tennessee. No one should be forced to offiate a marriage they don't approve of if it goes against their religion. This is just protecting civil liberties and the rights of good Christians. May other states follow their example. GOd bless

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      @Michaela Dorman How are these people "Good Christians". They need to read the Bible. There is NOTHING in the Bible about who can marry who. And the Bible does not tell us what characteristic a person needs to be a women or a man. We know 1 out of every 200 people born have some sex difference which makes them unique. This are God's children. Christians should read John 15:12-13. And for that matter Ezekiel 23:20.

      God is the one who passes judgment, NOT Christians. Christians need to learn to stop spreading hate.

    2. Nathaniel Robert Hunt's Avatar Nathaniel Robert Hunt

      No minister has been forced to marry gays if they don't like it

    3. Gregory Joseph Drobish's Avatar Gregory Joseph Drobish

      The next thing they will start forcing mom and pop bakeries to make wedding cakes for those people getting married that don't match the bakers personal beliefs instead of the couple choosing the other bakery next door.

  1. Margarita R's Avatar Margarita R

    If a person works in a position where they may object to certain tasks because of religious beliefs, they should not hold that position. Our government is secular and the positions in government are as well. All of these religious objections are getting in the way of people getting the services they pay the government for. As for ministers refusing based on their beliefs, I have no objection to that. That sort of goes with the territory.

  1. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

    Unfortunately, religious leaders, ministers, and the like have the right to refuse to perform ceremonies based on their religious beliefs. But a government employee? County clerks? If they work for the government their religious beliefs have nothing to do with it. They have been hired to do a job and if they can’t do that they should be removed. There is a reason we have separation of church and state. The government should not be able to force religion onto the people.

    We have taken the freedom of religion too far. It was meant to allow people to practice their religion free of persecution. It was not meant to force their beliefs on everyone else. The Republican party has become a white, Christian party set out to take everyone else’s rights away.

  1. Nicole Wojtyska's Avatar Nicole Wojtyska

    So the Republicans once again try to show how much they hate Black and Same-Sex couples. Additionally, Trans also now. I'm so saddened by how are Country has taken huge steps backwards. They're a hate group it's the "Maga" party Republicans that are doing this not all republicans just the ones that worship Trump. I knew in my heart if he was elected he would turn this country upside down . Now look at us we're the laughing stock of the world. We don't need a World War III; we have already proclaimed war against ourselves as a country. It's truly sad

    1. Pamela Renee DeSalvo's Avatar Pamela Renee DeSalvo

      you can thank your present Potus for that. Blessed Be to you and yours. Trump is not the devil, he is a man that did a job, Very Well I might add, and now we have a saddled old brain leading us. But next year we shall see what and WHO America truly wants.

  1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

    I believe that it bears stating that not all conservatives are Republicans. Please don't lump all of us under the same, shoddy, lean to of a Political party. I would even say the majority are either Libertarians or Independents. We are the ones that Republicans and Democrats alike fear most. We understand that both parties have no true interest in serving the people and only wish to serve the party. Neither party could be elected to any office solely by their own registered members. It requires the votes of Independents to claim a majority. When Democrats or Republicans win an election it is because a large number of Independents picked a side. Both parties should be abolished. Remember the Left wing and the Right wing are on the same bird and only exist to propel their control forward. It's time we clipped those wings.

    1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      As George Washington warned us, 2 centuries ago...

  1. William Joseph Moczan's Avatar William Joseph Moczan

    There wrong and from where I'm from everyone thinks it a joke too.

  1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

    You know all those other commenters in other topics here at ULC? You know the ones, who come here an preach hellfire, pound the bible and demand that we, all of us here, here because this is a place that allows and accepts us, need to follow their god and their rules and now....their laws. they will be conspicuous by their absence here on this topic. because they know that if they argue in favor of not allowing ULC ministers minister in tennesee, that will be admission enough that the only reason they are here is to persecute the rest of us.

    there is no war on cris chins, they are in fact waging the war; on everyone who is not of their faith. with the loaded SCOTUS these people are pushing to make the US a theocracy and that means that not just muslims, but jews, hindus, pagans, humanists, satanists...all not of their faith and belief will be persecuted by these so-called people of god.

  1. Eric Thomas's Avatar Eric Thomas

    "HB 878, a controversial new bill that would allow ministers and government officials to decline to perform any weddings they deem “objectionable” based on their religious beliefs. "

    How is this a bad thing? Government, or anyone else, Forcing anyone to act in ways contrary to their religious beliefs is wrong. No one has the right to force others to comply with their own religious perspectives.

    I think the ULC might want to rethink their stated perspective on this.

    And, Yes, I live in Tennessee

    1. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

      Eric, the state is also trying to say ULC ministers do not have the right to perform marriage ceremonies? What about our freedom of religion rights? Also, government employees cannot allow their religion beliefs to interfere with their job duties. That is why we have separation of church and state. Although I don’t agree with it, ministers have the right to refuse to marry couples they find objectionable to their faith, but not the government. This will open the flood gates for any government to discriminate against anyone, anywhere, anytime. You have to see that, right?

    2. Pink Clover's Avatar Pink Clover

      Some jobs require you to be able to life x amount of weight. Some jobs require you to stand on your feet for hours on end. Some jobs require you to work with toxic chemicals. Some jobs require you to work out in the hot sun or the freezing snow.

      The point is, if you cannot or will not do the job then get another one.

  1. Kenneth R Taromino's Avatar Kenneth R Taromino

    Republicans do not hate y'all and if you stopped pushing your lifestyle on the entire population ... you would find it much easier to navigate the world we live in.. y'all have been around for centuries and there was minimal problems its when you normalize your lifestyle to 100% of the youth and population while you only have a small majority of real identifiable differences, It overflows to many. Pubescent children and even young adults who are trying to fit in they start doing what is not necessarily what is true to there future to fit in.. it becomes and makes it a problem to conservatives i dont speak for 100% of them because in all groups you will have haters but im not one and never have been but i do not like what ive seen in certain circumstances... Heterosexual relationship should and still are the norm but there is no problem with your way of life .. what is happening is its shoved in 100% of the lives of people.. with less that 10% of the effected people causing false positives

    1. Sue Hanley's Avatar Sue Hanley

      Kenneth, respectfully I would ask you to define “it’s shoved in 100% of the lives of people” and “normalize your lifestyle.” To me, I read that as saying that you/conservatives find some people distasteful and need them to disappear from conventional life. I would ask you to look in your heart and see that we are all God’s children, made in His image. Perhaps, just perhaps, your acceptance and love for all people is God’s way of testing your true faith in His word? Just a thought experiment. God never promised us that being a true Christian would be easy and that we would never be tested.

    2. Nicole Wojtyska's Avatar Nicole Wojtyska

      His whole statement is such a contradiction . It's truly comical spoken just like what a guy that wears sheets would say . Keep on trying to convince us there Kenny. why don't you just embrace the changes that are happening . State and Faith shouldn't be together at all. Nor should racism and hateful comments about same sex couples . You say we need to accept it well well right back at ya. I'm very accepting of everyone just not racist individuals . The younger generation will one day be our leaders in Congress and Judges and Law Enforcement . I cannot wait for these changes to come when they come into office at least the youth (well some) will believe in good things . You think it's bad now buckle up for the ride there buddy. 😃😃

    3. Nakita Pruitt's Avatar Nakita Pruitt

      Kenneth you wrote all that to say you agree with their decisions and as a “man of God” you have no right and your judgment only condemns you. And please don’t with the rhetoric of you’re not judging. Lol and I am heterosexual and you sound just as ignorant as their judge mental decisions of power and separation! Should’ve kept your thoughts away from text.

    4. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

      Kenny, I am a heterosexual and 60 years old. I am one of the "y'all" of whom you speak. I support LGBTQIA+ people, people of different faiths/ nonreligious people, and interracial couples. Just because I support peoples' RIGHTS does not make me "one of "them."" It DOES however make YOU one of "those bigots."

  1. Stephen Mohlaloga Makgoathane's Avatar Stephen Mohlaloga Makgoathane

    Persecution again on Christians from Tennessee.In the meantime, while awaiting the Judge's final Dicisition ULC shall practice proudly and legally this Blessed Religious Believe. GOD knows the truth about your intentions that you have about ULC in Tennessee. The legal practitioners in Tennessee haven't got any playground,now think they randomly can choose to attack our Faithful ULC to apply their legal tactics. Through prayers God will see us through this evil test. Tennessee wants to see a new Bill passed in their favor say Government officials and Ministers are declined to...... with effect from....That won't happen. You ULC,go on perform weddings according to your Religious beliefs. Oh'what a sinful attack, no one has the right to force others into your religious beliefs, no one.Can you imagine Government deciding on who, how and when to Ordained Ministers. That's not their business to look into. Again imagine Government deciding on Regulations, Policies, Rules etc' of all Churches. That's unacceptable. ( Reverend Stephen Trevor Makgoathane)

  1. Versie Tackett's Avatar Versie Tackett

    I am a Republican and i am also ordained through ULC .. Just FYI.

  1. Charity Ann Edwards's Avatar Charity Ann Edwards

    This is BS!! I am an open minded conservative & I don’t agree with any of this. I think any 2 consenting adults who want to be married & make a lifelong commitment should be able to. I will gladly perform any ceremony of 2 people who love one another. Please stop bashing on all conservatives. We’re not all closed minded bigots who sit on a high horse & determine who can marry whom. Some of us became conservatives after the last 3 years of the nightmare we’ve all been living in.

  1. TJ's Avatar TJ

    As stated by another minister. The issue is there is clearly no separation of church and state anymore. The other issue is that personally I have heard nd I know others that are afraid because it would seem that there is clear abd blatant stripping of basic rights from people. One in Tennessee, they are actually together believe it or not... once they passed the law the law against people so they can no longer express themselves with clothes or how they choose...The next push is against beliefs to make people conform.

  1. TJ's Avatar TJ

    As stated by another minister. The issue is there is clearly no separation of church and state anymore. The other issue is that personally I have heard nd I know others that are afraid because it would seem that there is clear abd blatant stripping of basic rights from people. One in Tennessee, they are actually together believe it or not... once they passed the law the law against people so they can no longer express themselves with clothes or how they choose...The next push is against beliefs to make people conform.

  1. Guy Sutherland McLaren's Avatar Guy Sutherland McLaren

    It makes me joyous that I don't live in the USA when I see the stuff going on over there. There are simple and common sense solutions to all of your problems, but common sense is no longer common and intelligence is at best below average in your politics.

    The world is becoming worse and worse and the only people to blame are policians to the right and the left, what happened to love thy neigbour and don't screw his wife?

  1. tuppennyblue's Avatar tuppennyblue

    Interesting that ministers are now "ordained online". When I was ordained by ULC I am quite sure I was told that it was not possible to be "ordained online", that it was merely the application that was made online, and that the actual ordination itself was conducted in an offline ceremony.

    1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      In places I've lived, government clerks don't ordain, they register the ordained person and certify them to perform solemnization ceremonies.

  1. Michael Holland's Avatar Michael Holland

    I am a notary in the state of florida and also ordained through ULC, Florida allows notaries to perform marriages, Ive often wondered what state restrictions are using my ULC ordination. I know that my notary is not good outside the state of Florida, are there other restrictions in other states about using my ULC ordination?

    1. Rev. Dennis A's Avatar Rev. Dennis A

      Here is a link to the entire United States concerning what you, as a ULC ordained minister can read about the relevant rules and statutes for officiating a successful wedding ceremony!

  1. Michael Holland's Avatar Michael Holland

    Keep me posted!

  1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

    Clear evidence that the Authoritarian virus is highly infectious.

  1. John J. Warda's Avatar John J. Warda

    Marriage is between a man and woman period! God created. You want to live in sin , fine . This is not hate. Facts matter. Of course blame it on the republicans.

    1. Pink Clover's Avatar Pink Clover

      And you are welcome to feel that way so be sure you do not marry another man. Problem solved.

  1. Greg Traver's Avatar Greg Traver

    It is sad to see so much hyperbole and fear mongering, what ever happened to Faith? What happened to Power, the Source that helps us climb any mountain? The prejudice and bias and all-inclusive smear of entire groups of people is astounding. It's 2023, I thought we had outgrown this by now!

  1. Deborah Jean Howard's Avatar Deborah Jean Howard

    Off, I thought that political parties cannot interfere with religion, and or the way you practice it. So in Tennessee they’re breaking the constitutional right of all of us ministers. It is just people overtaking power that they do not need.

    1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      Nowhere in the Constitution does it forbid political parties from mixing politics and religion... the sort of thing that George Washington (accurately) feared could destroy the nation.

  1. Jeff Demay's Avatar Jeff Demay

    I believe that people can have a right to practice their faith. We should respect those that practice their faith. In this world as individuals we should be able to have civilized conversations about our beliefs. I do not believe anyone has the rightist to force a person to go against their belief system , on either side of this discussion. Government over- reach will most always be an issue. We as individuals, while making a stand for what we believe should not demand a change in another’s. I personally do not agree with same sex marriage. I would not perform a same sex marriage. Others will and I respect that.

    The art of agreeing to disagree,in love, has somehow been lost.

    Let us all have a blessed day

  1. Kenneth Key's Avatar Kenneth Key

    Similar in NC, people ordained online can't legally perform marriage ceremonies in NC and they specifically mention ULC as an example.

    1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

      That's actually a misconception. The ULC in Modesto is not recognized in NC but the ULC Monastery is.

  1. Steve Headlee's Avatar Steve Headlee

    First off, I'm ordained through ULC. Second, I am a Christian. I don't judge other people due to there personal beliefs. I have gay friends. I have atheist friends. I have people of all beliefs as friends. It's not my place to cast judgment on anyone for how they feel or what they believe. So I guess my point is this. Quit judging Christians as hateful people. Not all of us are hypocrites. Some of us Christians actually do try to love everyone just like Jesus commands us to do. And yes, I would gladly merry a gay couple, a stright couple, an interracial couple, ext. You love who you love. Not up to me, and in my humble opinion, not the governments place to to decide who can love who, or be legally married. God bless.

  1. William David Gilbreath's Avatar William David Gilbreath

    It's amazing to me to see the fear mongering. Once again fake news rears its ugly head. Only giving half the story is just as bad as making one up.

    First, let me start with I agree with the original law suit. It doesn't make sense to me why they care where one feels out the form to be registered to marry a couple.

    Second, it's also amazing to me how quickly everyone jumps down the Republican throats, when they are just responding the the blatant disregard for the US Constitution by the Democrats. Does any one remember the bill that was just past saying if an entity refuses to marry a couple they lose their religious tax status? This move was to distroy all churches in the US. But yall are just fine with that? Now, I'm sure, you the reader, think that I'm anti guy or some nonsense, but you'd be wrong. I personally don't care about any of that, but I do care more about freedom of religion more than anything. It's why our great country was founded. This article and the responses I've read are why I'm proud not to be a Democrat. ULC: please report the full story or non at all. Readers: please educate yourself on what's really happening and remember it. This fake news is the main problem in our country right now.

    1. Margarita R's Avatar Margarita R

      Hi. Your second point is incorrect or fake news, as you have termed it. Please see the following link:

      If you are watching or reading a news source that says the contrary, you should reconsider your news source.

      Warm regards, Margarita

    2. Margarita R's Avatar Margarita R

      Hi William. With regards to your second point, you are sharing incorrect information or fake news, as you have termed it.

      Please see following link for the correct explanation:

      If your current news source has given you your version of "facts", you should find another, reputable source.

      Regards, Margarita

  1. Gary Dwayne Smith's Avatar Gary Dwayne Smith

    We which are called by His name (Christ) must follow His word not the will of man

    1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      The words of men like Paul of Tarsus?

  1. Gregory V. Bailey's Avatar Gregory V. Bailey

    This is not a "Republican" thing. It is a Tennessee thing. Like the US, TN has been marching toward totalitarianism for a long time. Freedom is not anywhere along the major party axis; both Democrat and Republican parties oppose individual freedom because what they both want is power, period. Although there are well defined hoops to jump through for an out of state ULC minster to officiate at a Tennessee wedding, I was unable to do so for my stepdaughter in Chattanooga last Fall because their chosen venue would only allow third parties like caterers and ministers who were "approved" by the venue. Power and money corrupt if you let them.

  1. Larry Eugene Barnes's Avatar Larry Eugene Barnes

    Read, Leviticus 18:22. Enough said. God's word is absolute. No same sex relations allowed.

    1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      Stoned any daughters to death lately? (As that same 'absolute' Word in OT scripture mandates).

    2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      @Larry Eugene Barnes If you like Leviticus 18:22, you will find pleasure reading Ezekiel 23:20. Might become your favorite.

  1. JT of the plains's Avatar JT of the plains

    Why not just have one ordained minister in each state assigned as that state's representative? Then the process is in-state (in every state), and the processs is not "only online" thus the whole pernicious law is thwarted?

  1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

    Cutting to the chase, the end game questions are: Will venal Tenn. politicians grant clerks the power to void certain marriages? Refuse to recognize certain marriages from other states? Criminalize certain already valid marriages, as raw meat to their mobs? And (as China is contemplating), mandate racial purity marriages? Or finally, criminalize those certain religious ceremonies, sermons, and even entire religions?

    To anyone who has learned from history... none of that is off the table once greed invalidates the Constitution.

  1. Craig Pearce's Avatar Craig Pearce

    It’s an absolute travesty this is happening. I live in Scotland and was booked to perform a wedding ceremony. I got notified that the law had changed and I received a refund for the wedding pack I had purchased. That was the end of it. Whilst I believe in the fight does this mean that ULC will fight the cause in the US but give a refund elsewhere?

  1. Melvyn R. Winge's Avatar Melvyn R. Winge

    Unfortunately, and sadly, we seem to be sliding back toward the dark ages when control of the thoughts of the common people was sought. The "elites" and those in power believe that what they believe everyone should believe and only their thoughts are the right thoughts, their views are the right views. At one time, because of the scarcity of ministers, simply entering the names of a couple into a Bible was sufficient to see them legally married, although many did have a ceremony the first chance they had. But how many of these "righteous" self-severs might there be whose ancestors were married only in the "sight of God" and their families? Mariage is of the mind, the soul, and the spirit and no government has the right to infringe on that, no matter what laws they may pass. It is also a right that no one may be coerced into doing what they do not wish. If a minister does not believe in the union of a couple, whether for religious reason, personal reasons, or simply because he does not like their hairstyle, that is their right. Isn't it better to have a ceremony performed by someone who believes in what they are doing and who finds joy in the event than by someone who is forced to do it because the law says they can't say no? It seems to me that freedom of speech includes the right to say no, but too many laws are aimed at taking away that right so that those in power never have to hear it said to them.

  1. Drake Wolf's Avatar Drake Wolf

    Forgoing the obvious over-reaching and going against the separation of church and state, do they have anything that makes it where they don't recognize a union from another state? Not ideal obviously, but people may need some type of option.

  1. Jerry L. Storey Jr's Avatar Jerry L. Storey Jr

    Imagine a world where love is the only factor that determines the bond of matrimony - a world where the government doesn't dictate who you can or cannot marry.

    Let's face it, the hate and pain in these comments are a direct result of government INTERFERENCE in marriage. Do we really need the government to regulate our love lives?

    It's time to take a step back from all of these arguments and question why we've allowed them this power in the first place. The government doesn't certify other "Contracts" so why this one???

    Let's fight for the freedom to love who we want without any outside influence - and let's stop fighting amongst ourselves.

  1. Christopher R Sherer's Avatar Christopher R Sherer

    True freedom is truly frightening to some.

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