A Florida state court has ruled that Florida’s new law requiring religious marriages to be solemnized by a Christian pastor will take effect next month.
The ruling was filed Friday by a lawyer for the Rev. Patrick Henry and others who sued the state over the new law, which was enacted in February.
The law requires churches to solemnize marriages by ministers who are not ordained, have no medical training and have no authority over the couples.
It also states that ministers can’t officiate at a same-sex wedding, but the court said that because the law requires ministers to be pastors, they can perform a ceremony for same-day weddings.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that religious liberty protections extend to weddings that take place outside of a marriage contract.
The judge’s ruling Friday was the latest blow to Florida’s push to legalize same-month weddings.
Rick Scott has said he’s prepared to sign the measure if it is approved by the legislature, and his Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to take up the measure in the next legislative session.
In April, Florida became the 16th state to allow same-date weddings.
Earlier this year, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled that the state’s same-fidelity law, signed by Gov.
Phil Bryant, was unconstitutional.
That ruling came after a group of couples filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the law.
The plaintiffs said the law violated their religious liberty by requiring them to live out their faith, and they wanted to get married on the same day that they could legally do so in the state.