Making the Most of the Marriage License Debate

Yesterday the Senate discussed SB-5, the bill to correct the marriage license debacle we all watched embarrass our state on national TV. I’m not sure what all discussion took place, but I don’t see why a simple process such as putting marriage licenses online wouldn’t work. It would save couples planning for their wedding a lot of wasted time enduring an arcane procedure.

I can create a corporation, start a legal business partnership, file my business paper work, file and pay my taxes, order pizzas, groceries, and things I didn’t know existed from Amazon with a few mouse clicks. I can watch movies, sports events, and old TV shows I had long forgotten about without leaving my recliner. I can communicate with friends anywhere in the world, share videos and pictures of my grandkid, and buy an airline ticket complete with printed boarding pass from my phone. But we still have to have our legislators spend days debating how to word and who can sign a marriage license.

Here’s a simple, money saving proposal that should make everyone happy, it probably won’t though because it would actually be a step in reducing some government function and God forbid we save a few tax dollars along the way.

I should be able to go to the Secretary of State’s web page, click a button to obtain a marriage license. Fill in the form, pay an online fee, print out my license, and take it to a notary to have the signatures notarized. I present the license to the person performing the wedding, who is licensed by the state do so already, and they officiate the wedding. Afterward they sign it along with two witnesses, just like now and give it back to me. I mail it to the Secretary of State, it gets recorded and sent back to me with a stamp. No county clerk, no waiting in lines of people paying taxes or getting their car licensed, and no protestors or media hounding me as I walk in.

I’m not sure what the outcome of the SB-5 debate will be. But I can almost guarantee that it will cost money and probably increase the number of people who have to get involved in the marriage license process. After all, they’re the government and they’re here to help.