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State Laws for Ministers

SECTION 1. Section 93-1-1, (2) Any marriage between persons of the same gender is prohibited and null and void from the beginning. Any marriage between persons of the same gender that is valid in another jurisdiction does not constitute a legal or valid marriage in Mississippi.

SEC. 93-1-3. Unlawful marriage; effect of marrying outside of and returning to state. Any attempt to evade section 93-1-1 by marrying out of this state and returning to it shall be within the prohibitions of said section.

SEC. 93-1-13. License essential.
A marriage shall not be contracted or solemnized unless a license therefor shall first have been duly issued. No irregularity in the issuance of or omission in the license shall invalidate any marriage, nor shall this section be construed so as to invalidate any marriage that is good at common law.

SEC. 93-1-15. License and solemnization required for valid marriage.
(1) No marriage contracted after April 5, 1956 shall be valid unless the contracting parties shall have obtained a marriage license as otherwise required by law, and unless also the marriage, after such license shall have been duly issued therefor, shall have been performed by or before any person, religious society, institution, or organization authorized by sections 93-1-17 and 93-1-19 to solemnize marriages. Failure in any case to comply with both prerequisites aforesaid, which shall also be construed as mandatory and not merely directory, shall render the purported marriage absolutely void and any children born as a result thereof illegitimate.

SEC. 93-1-17. By whom marriages may be solemnized.
Any minister of the gospel ordained according to the rules of his church or society, in good standing; any Rabbi or other spiritual leader of any other religious body authorized under the rules of such religious body to solemnize rites of matrimony and being in good standing; any judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, circuit court, chancery court or county court may solemnize the rites of matrimony between any persons anywhere within this state who shall produce a license granted as herein directed. Justice court judges and members of the boards of supervisors may likewise solemnize the rites of matrimony within their respective counties. Any marriages performed by a mayor of a municipality prior to March 1994 are valid provided such marriages satisfy the requirements of Section 93-1-18.

SEC. 93-1-19. Marriage may be solemnized according to religious customs.
It shall be lawful for a pastor of any religious society in this state to join together in marriage such persons of the society to whom a marriage license has been issued, according to the rules and customs established by the society. The clerk or keeper of the minutes, proceedings, or other books of the religious society wherein such marriage shall be had and solemnized, shall make a true and faithful register of all marriages solemnized in the society, in a book kept by him for that purpose, and return a certificate of the same to the clerk of the circuit court of the county, to be by him recorded, under the penalty prescribed in section 93-1-21.

SEC. 93-1-25. Solicitation of marriage ceremony unlawful; penalty.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit or cause to be solicited within any courthouse, premises or grounds or lots on which the courthouse may be located in any county within the State of Mississippi, for himself or for and on behalf of any minister or other person, the performance of a marriage ceremony.
(2) Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first conviction, and for any second or subsequent conviction, by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding thirty (30) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Chapter 30, Title 73 Licensed Professional Counselor
SEC. 73-30-25. Inapplicability of chapter to other regulated professions [Repealed effective July 1, 2008].
It is not the intent of this chapter to regulate against members of other duly regulated professions in this state who do counseling in the normal course of the practice of their own profession. This chapter does not apply to:
(h) Duly ordained ministers or clergy while functioning in their ministerial capacity and duly accredited Christian Science practitioners

Chapter 031 of Title 73
SEC. 73-31-27. Excluded activities.
(1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit:       (d) The services and activities of members of other professional groups licensed or certified by the State of Mississippi who perform work of a psychological nature consistent with their training, work experience history, and with any code of ethics of their respective professions, provided they do not hold themselves out to be psychologists. The practice of psychology as defined by this act overlaps with the activities of other professional groups and it is not the intent of this act to regulate the activities of these professional groups. This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2011.

Chapter 54, Marriage and family therapists
SEC. 73-54-9. Exemptions. [Repealed effective July 1, 2011]. (2) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent licensed or certified members of other professional groups as defined by their board, including, but not limited to, physicians, psychologists, clinical nurse specialists, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, or duly ordained ministers or clergy while functioning in their ministerial capacity, from doing or advertising that they perform work of a marriage and family therapy nature consistent with the accepted standards of their respective professions.
(3) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as permitting licensed marriage and family therapists to * * * engage in the practice of psychology. Marriage and family therapists may provide testing consistent with the scope of their education, training and experience. Testing shall occur within the context of a therapeutic relationship.

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