As you may recall, Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup were married this past October. Their marriage was officiated via Skype by a person authorized to perform marriages by the District of Columbia, who was physically in DC at the time of the service. Mark and Dante decided to conduct their vows in their home state so that family and friends could be in attendance without the significant costs and problems of flying everyone to DC.
However, after the Skype wedding made headlines DC officials intervened and nullified the wedding on the grounds that Mark and Dante were not in the District at the time the ceremony was performed.
More recently, and in what can only be an effort to prevent future public relations disasters, a DC Clerk’s office posted this sign:
However, such provision is not presently included in the District of Columbia’s Official Code governing marital relationships (See: Division VII, Title 46, Subtitle I, Ch. 4). Instead, DC has taken upon itself to enforce a provision of law which does not exist. This means, if you or someone you know obtained a marriage license from the District of Columbia, but conducted the ceremony even inches outside the confines of the District’s border (perhaps for a better view of the ocean), your marriage may be nullified, too.
For example, let’s say you’ve lived and worked all your life in DC as has your future spouse. You and your spouse decide to get married, head off to the clerk’s office, get your license, abide by the 3 day waiting period, plan your ceremony, go to Little Falls Park (5.6 miles from the center of DC) and get married. YOU WERE NOT IN D.C.
Or let’s say you take a look at popular wedding places in the D.C. area and choose one of the top ten venues, Brookside Gardens. You are not in D.C., and therefore your marriage is not valid!
DC retroactively nullified the marriage of Mark and Dante due to this “requirement.” How many more marriages will they nullify? Will yours be next?