New "ministers" performing same sex weddings

So says the New York Daily News, which reported on this unfortunate phenomenon yesterday.


John DeLamar will stand before two of his closest friends tomorrow and proudly pronounce them newlyweds.

The 29-year-old has not officiated at a wedding before, and never had ambitions to become a minister, but New York‘s same-sex marriage bill changed all that.

“When gay marriage passed, I thought it would be great [to get ordained],” said DeLamar, who will conduct the service in a studio in midtown. “When my friends asked me to marry them, I was really moved. We’ve been fighting for gay marriage together – we marched on Washington, we’ve been campaigning and pamphleting to get it approved. Marrying them is a great responsibility.”

The Brooklyn resident is one of an ever-growing number of New Yorkers who have chosen to become ministers via a simple online process since gay marriage passed the senate last month.

Some, like DeLamar, were approached by newly engaged friends to perform the ceremony.

Others wanted to show their support for the historic vote or ensure there are enough ministers on hand to cope with the increased demand.

“When the law passed, I felt there were so many people out there wanting to get married that I would sign up and be an option for them,” said Nancy McAlley, a registered nurse from Brewster, N.Y., who became ordained by the Universal Life Church Monastery just over a week ago.

She will qualify as an interfaith minister next summer, but did not want to wait that long to assist same-sex couples.

“I think gay couples deserve the same rights as straight couples,” McAlley, 61, said. “I’m open to doing the ceremonies anywhere.”

The Universal Life Church Monastery ordains as many as 600 people around the world each day via a quick, easy online application process, which costs about $30.

Before the June 24 vote, the organization was receiving one or two emails a week from people asking about how to marry in New York City. After the gay marriage bill passed, it rose to two to four inquiries a day.

In the month since the bill passed, 179 people have gone through the full ordination process – a 70% jump over the prior four weeks.

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