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Mayor Bowser Signs LOVE Act, Allowing Couples to Get Married in DC Despite Government Shutdown


Jan 14, 2019


Friday, January 11, 2019
(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the “Let Our Vows Endure Emergency Act of 2019” or “LOVE Act,” giving the Mayor the authority to issue marriage licenses and authorize officiants during this partial federal government shutdown.

“As we’ve said: You can’t shut down love,” said Mayor Bowser. “Washington, DC is more than the federal government —we are a diverse, inclusive city, more than 700,000 residents strong. This shutdown is senseless, it’s hurting real Americans, and we will continue calling on the President to work with Congress to get the government back open and our federal employees back to work.”

During a federal government shutdown, the Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia is not issuing marriage licenses because the marriage bureau is considered “non-essential.” The LOVE Act authorizes the Mayor to issue marriage licenses and authorize officiants.

Through a Mayor’s Order issued this week, the Secretary of the District of Columbia is delegated the authority to celebrate marriages, issue marriage licenses, authorize officiants, transmit true copies of licenses and officiant authorizations to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, execute certified copies of licenses issued by the Secretary, and execute all other documents necessary to issue and certify licenses that solemnize a marriage in the District of Columbia.

License applications, officiant authorizations, and certifications can be obtained through the Office of the Secretary, Office of Documents and Administrative Issuances at 441 4th Street, NW (Suite 520 South) between 9 am and 5 pm. Residents and visitors can learn more about receiving a marriage license by visiting os.dc.gov/page/marriage-licenses, emailing osmarriage@dc.gov, or calling (202) 727-5090.