(a) In applying for a marriage license, a man and woman who certify on the application for a marriage license that they have successfully completed a qualifying premarital education program shall not be charged a fee for a marriage license. The premarital education shall include at least six hours of instruction involving marital issues, which may include but not be limited to conflict management, communication skills, financial responsibilities, child and parenting responsibilities, and extended family roles. The premarital education shall be completed within 12 months prior to the application for a marriage license and the couple shall undergo the premarital education together. The premarital education shall be performed by:
(1) A professional counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist who is licensed pursuant to Chapter 10A of Title 43;
(2) A psychiatrist who is licensed as a physician pursuant to Chapter 34 of Title 43;
(3) A psychologist who is licensed pursuant to Chapter 39 of Title 43; or
(4) An active member of the clergy when in the course of his or her service as clergy or his or her designee, including retired clergy, provided that a designee is trained and skilled in premarital education.
(b) Each premarital education provider shall furnish each participant who completes the premarital education required by this Code section a certificate of completion."
So, professionals get regulated in nice proper ways, but you can do as you like and call it 'premarital education' so long as you can call yourself 'clergy'.
THE BEARER OF THIS CARD
IS A GENUINE AND AUTHORIZED
~ POPE ~
So please Treat Him Right
Genuine and authorized by The HOUSE of APOSTLES of ERIS
Every man, woman and child on this Earth is a genuine and authorized Pope
Reproduce and distribute these cards freely- POEE Head Temple, San Francisco
A =POPE= is someone who is not under the authority of the authorities.
Methinks the State of Georgia is venturing into chaos in bringing something as subjective and varied as clergy into such an otherwise neatly regulated law. (I wonder how Georgia's qualified psychological professionals feel about that?) As a Discordian Pope, I can't complain about the opportunities for confusion, but there's a Dawkinesque argument that comes to mind; just because something is religious doesn't mean it shouldn't be held to the same standards as non-religious stuff. If clergy, Discordian Popes and otherwise, are going to be doling out this $50-off-your-paperwork thing, shouldn't they be subject to the same certification as everyone else who's doing it? They could easily be untrained and incompetent in such education - not to mention that most clergy (from staid Christians to anarcho-Pagans) have a definition of 'marriage' that is not the same as the civil definition, and that could easily make their advice incompatible with regulation. Your clergy might be saying you shouldn't marry if you've had sex first, or that plural marriage is okay, or that you should only marry if God agrees to it, or that yes it is fine to marry someone of the same sex, or that you mustn't use contraception, or that legal marriage is a meaningless sham, or that you will never get divorced so you mustn't make plans for that eventuality... All matters in which the State of Georgia regulates otherwise, and on which their regulated psychological professionals might be more sure to speak in line with the views of the State.
So how can the role of 'clergy' be enshrined in law like this? How is this not 'respecting an establishment of religion'? Guh?