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State Laws for Ministers
New York

Marriage In most of the State of New York the following statutes apply, but an additional provision in the domestic relations act section 11b allows only cities of over one million to add additional requirements. The Universal Ministries does provide the documentation to help our members register within NYC. As a physically established church formed to provide faith as our prime concern and a church active in both our local community as well as the worldwide mission, we can help our members register without much issue. As Revised, with Amendments Adopted by the Constitutional Convention of 1938 and Approved by vote of the People on November 8, 1938. As Amended and in Force January 1, 2002

Article 3 - Solemnization, Proof and Effect of Marriage
11. By whom a marriage must be solemnized. No marriage shall be valid unless solemnized by either:
     1. A clergyman or minister of any religion
     7. The term "clergyman" or "minister" when used in this article, shall include those defined in section two of the religious corporations law. The word "magistrate, " when so used, includes any person referred to in the second or third subdivision.
11-b. Registration of persons performing marriage ceremonies in the city of New York. Every person authorized by law to perform the marriage ceremony, before performing any such ceremonies in the city of New York, shall register his or her name and address in the office of the city clerk of the city of New York. Every such person, before performing any marriage ceremonies subsequent to a change in his or her address, shall likewise register such change of address. Such city clerk is hereby empowered to cancel the registration of any person so registered upon satisfactory proof that the registration was fraudulent, or upon satisfactory proof that such person is no longer entitled to perform such ceremony.
12. Marriage, how solemnized. No particular form or ceremony is required when a marriage is solemnized as herein provided by a clergyman or magistrate, but the parties must solemnly declare in the presence of a clergyman or magistrate and the attending witness or witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife. In every case, at least one witness beside the clergyman or magistrate must be present at the ceremony.
13. Marriage licenses. It shall be necessary for all persons intended to be married in New York state to obtain a marriage license from a town or city clerk in New York state and to deliver said license, within sixty days, to the clergyman or magistrate who is to officiate before the marriage ceremony may be performed. 13-b. Time within which marriage may be solemnized. A marriage shall not be solemnized within twenty-four hours after the issuance of the marriage license
nor shall it be solemnized after sixty days from the date of the issuance of the marriage license
17. Clergyman or officer violating article; penalty. If any clergyman or other person authorized by the laws of this state to perform marriage ceremonies shall solemnize or presume to solemnize any marriage between any parties without a license being presented to him or them as herein prvided or with knowledge that either party is legally incompetent to contract matrimony as is provided for in this article he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

Counseling/healing
Title VIII -Article 153, Psychology
7605. Exempt persons.
Nothing in this article shall be construed to affect or prevent: 5. The conduct, activities, or services of any member of the clergy or Christian Science practitioner, in the provision of pastoral counseling services within the context of his or her ministerial charge or obligation.
6. The conduct, activities, or services of individuals, churches, schools, teachers, organizations, or not-for-profit businesses in providing instruction, advice, support, encouragement, or information to individuals, families, and relational groups.

Article 154, Social Work
7706. Exempt persons.
Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to:
4. Prevent or prohibit the performance of activities and services within the scope of practice of licensed master social work as defined in subdivision one of section seventy-seven hundred one of this article by individuals, churches, schools, teachers, organizations, or not-for- profit businesses which are providing instruction, advice, support, encouragement or information to individuals, families and relational groups.
5. Prevent or prohibit the performance of activities and services within the scope of practice of licensed master social work or licensed clinical social work as defined in section seventy-seven hundred one of this article by the following: b. provision of pastoral counseling services by any member of the clergy or christian science practitioner, from providing pastoral counselling services within the context of his or her ministerial charge or obligation;

Article 163 - Mental Health Practitioners* Effective January 1, 2005 8410. Exemptions.
Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to: 4. Prohibit or limit the provision of pastoral counseling services by any member of the clergy or Christian Science practitioner, within the context of his or her ministerial charge or obligation.
5. Prohibit or limit individuals, churches, schools, teachers, organizations, or not-for-profit businesses, from providing instruction, advice, support, encouragement, or information to individuals, families, and relational groups.
6. Prohibit or limit an occupational therapist from performing work consistent with article one hundred fifty-six of this title.


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