Attorney General Clarifies VA Marriage Law | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Attorney General Clarifies VA Marriage Law

Play associated audio

By Rebecca Sheir

A couple who obtained a marriage license in Virginia, but held their wedding in Maryland, were told their marriage wasn't valid.

But Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says this marriage law has been in place in the Commonwealth, and across the country, for decades.

The law says if you get your marriage license in Virginia, you must get married in Virginia.

Brian Gottstein, spokesperson for the Attorney General, says the measure has been in place at least since the 1950s.

"It's not a new requirement," he says. "In fact, if you look at the Virginia Department of Health website, it states under 'marriage requirements' that a marriage license issued in Virginia is for marriages to be performed in Virginia only."

Most other states have a similar law on their books. But Gottstein says the Commonwealth has created an exception for Virginians wishing to get married elsewhere.

"Let's say you get your marriage license here, you're a resident of Virginia," he says. "But you want to go to the beach in North Carolina to get married. Well, you can have a ceremony down there as long as you have a brief, legal ceremony here, to solemnize the marriage here in Virginia."

Gottstein emphasizes that marriages licensed and performed outside of Virginia will indeed be recognized in Virginia.

NPR

In 'Redeployment,' Former Marine Explores The Challenges Of Coming Home

Phil Klay served in Iraq from January 2007 to February 2008. He recently won a National Book Award for his collection of short stories.
NPR

Take A Bite Out Of Ringo: Giant Cookies Honor Pop Culture Icons

Two self-taught pastry pros specialize in hand-painted cookies of musicians and other cultural icons, from Calvin and Hobbes to Fall Out Boy. Their creations seem almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.
NPR

Federal Ferguson Investigation Will Remain Independent, Holder Insists

The federal probe is examining whether Darren Wilson intentionally violated Michael Brown's civil rights. Justice Department veterans say proving he violated federal criminal law will be difficult.
NPR

'New York Times' Hires Former NPR Executive To Lead Digital Push

Kinsey Wilson was NPR's chief content officer when he was forced out last month by the network's new CEO, Jarl Mohn.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.