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

Former Basketball Player Scores As A Filmmaker

While Deon Taylor was playing professional basketball in Germany, he had an epiphany: he wanted to make movies. The self-taught director's latest film, Supremacy, was released this Friday.
NPR

Surströmming Revisited: Eating Sweden's Famously Stinky Fish

Sweden has the distinction of producing surströmming, one of the foulest-smelling foods in the world. More than a decade ago, NPR's Ari Shapiro tried eating it and failed. It's time for a rematch.
NPR

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.
NPR

The Infinite Whiteness Of Public Radio Voices

The hashtag #publicradiovoices, about the "whiteness" of public radio, trended on Twitter this week. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team about the conversation.

Leave a Comment

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