Several Florida Clerks of Court Cease Marriage Ceremonies

Courthouse Marriage Ceremonies in Ocala County have the same fate as the 1908 Courthouse!  GONE!!!! 

At Old Church Chapel, we have put together a “pop – in” package that is far superior to a Courthouse Ceremony.  Please take a look at our pictures and available options for your ceremony.  We believe that every wedding ceremony should be special and elegant. We are non-denominational and we welcome all couples who are looking to celebrate their love and commitment to each other.

A 2015 Article published by WUFT 89.5 explains Marion County’s reasons for discontinuing this service:

Marion County is one of many North Central Florida counties where clerk of court offices chose to stop offering marriage ceremonies. Offices in Duval, Clay, Bradford, Lake, Citrus, Baker and Pasco counties also discontinued their services.

They sympathized with couples who wanted to be wed by Marion County Clerk of the Circuit Court David Ellspermann before he discontinued his office’s marriage ceremony service in November.

Ellspermann said he chose to stop performing all marriage ceremonies — a service he said is not required by Florida Statute — after a conversation he had with staff members last summer before the same-sex marriage ban was lifted.

One employee added that she could not issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple due to religious beliefs and would resign should the decision be made by the court to lift the ban, Ellspermann said. That employee resigned on Jan. 5, the day before the ban was officially overturned.

Regardless of the reason some clerks decided to stop performing all marriage ceremonies, same-sex marriage supporters throughout Florida have expressed disappointment in the choice to do so.

Florida’s clerk of court offices are now required to provide marriage licenses for same-sex couples after the same-sex marriage ban was lifted last mont. Some, however, chose to stop performing marriage ceremonies altogether, forcing couples to find alternative options.

Though many Florida supporters of same-sex marriage are dissatisfied with their clerks of court, others, such as Jacksonville pastor Avery Garner, are focusing on the positives.

“The misguided actions of a few officials won’t overwhelm the light of this moment,” Garner said. “What they have done out of fear will be undone by justice, by love. Love wins out.”



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