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

The Gift Of Eternal Shelf Life: 'Tuck Everlasting' Turns 40

In Natalie Babbitt's celebrated classic, a young girl stumbles upon a secret spring and the family the spring has given eternal life to. Babbitt says she wrote the book to help kids understand death.
NPR

Food Industry Drags Its Heels On Recyclable And Compostable Packaging

A new report from two environmental groups reviewed the recyclability and compostability of packaging from 47 food companies. It found few examples of companies that have prioritized waste reduction.
NPR

Guantanamo Bay A Sticking Point Between U.S., Cuba Since 1903

Guantanamo Bay is home to the United States' oldest overseas base. Melissa Block talks to Vanderbilt History Professor Paul Kramer.
NPR

With 'Discover' Feature, Snapchat Bucks Social Trend In News

Snapchat says social media likes and shares aren't what makes a story important. The ephemeral messaging app has rolled out Discover, featuring multimedia articles from major news brands.

Leave a Comment

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