|Reverend Thomas is a practicing Minister who is formally ordained and
legally authorized to perform marriages in all fifty states. He is one of the
founders of the Mosaic All Faith Church and Ministry of California and
currently serves as its pastor.
Recently there have been a number of legal issues with marriages performed
by persons who received their ordination online or instantly by simply hitting the
submit button on their computers. In some cases marriages have been nullified
by the courts when it is learned that an online minister performed the
ceremony. A recent conviction for bigamy was overturned in New York whent he
defendant successfully argues that he wasn't really married a second time
because a minister who was ordained on line performed the ceremony. In
another court case in Pennsylvania, a marriage by an online minister was
nullifed when one of the parties filed for a divorce. States such as Hawaii,
Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nevada, Tennessee, New York and Indiana
have all changed their laws to restrict or control marriages by online or instant
ordained ministers. Other states may soon follow.
These rulings and laws have increased the risk of having a marriage nullified when performed by persons ordained online and
have shown a growing trend by lawmakers to make such ordinations invalid for marriages. And the courts are issuing rulings
that are causing great duress and legal problems for couples who thought they were married. The courts are saying that
ministers should be ordained by recognized means and not instantly or online. Ordinations should be ;considered, deliberate
and responsible acts and not something granted to anyone with access to the Internet.