Sec. 46b-22. (Formerly Sec. 46-3). Who may join persons in marriage. Penalty for unauthorized performance. (a) Persons authorized to solemnize marriages in this state include (1) all judges and retired judges, either elected or appointed, including federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, (2) family support magistrates, family support referees, state referees and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut, and (3) all ordained or licensed members of the clergy, belonging to this state or any other state. All marriages solemnized according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this state, including marriages witnessed by a duly constituted Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, are valid. All marriages attempted to be celebrated by any other person are void.
(b) No public official legally authorized to issue marriage licenses may join persons in marriage under authority of a license issued by himself, or his assistant or deputy; nor may any such assistant or deputy join persons in marriage under authority of a license issued by such public official.
(c) Any person violating any provision of this section shall be fined not more than fifty dollars.
(1949 Rev., S. 7306; 1951, S. 3001d; 1967, P.A. 129, S. 1; P.A. 78-230, S. 4, 54; P.A. 79-37, S. 1, 2; P.A. 87-316, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4, S. 27, 58; P.A. 06-196, S. 276; P.A. 07-79, S. 5; P.A. 15-74, S. 1; 15-85, S. 4.)
History: 1967 act specified validity of marriages witnessed by Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs., deleted reference to county and reordered and rephrased provisions in Subsec. (a) and substituted “may” for “shall” in Subsec. (b); P.A. 79-37 authorized retired judges and state referees to perform marriages; Sec. 46-3 transferred to Sec. 46b-22 in 1979; P.A. 87-316 applied provisions to family support magistrates; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 07-79 amended Subsec. (a) to add Subdiv. designators (1) to (3), revise provisions re persons authorized to solemnize marriages within the state and make technical changes; P.A. 15-74 amended Subsec. (a)(3) by deleting requirement that members of the clergy continue in the work of the ministry; P.A. 15-85 amended Subsec. (a)(2) by adding “family support referees”, effective June 24, 2015.
Annotations to former section 46-3:
Minister who solemnizes marriage must be “settled in the work of the ministry”. 2 R. 382. Ordained deacon performing usual duties of minister held to be authorized. 4 C. 134. A clergyman in performing marriage ceremony is a public officer and his acts in that capacity prima facie evidence of his character. Id., 219. Proof of celebration of marriage raises a presumption of its validity. 85 C. 186; 93 C. 47. In absence of proof of authority of justice of peace, marriage void; our law does not recognize common law marriages. 129 C. 432. Marriage, deficient for want of due solemnization, voidable. 163 C. 588.