Advocacy

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When legal or social issues affect our membership’s marriage-related duties, JPus gets involved.

JPus represents membership, advocating on their behalf: Supporting legislation, engaging the media, training officiants

Are there policies or legislation brewing in your community that affect justices of the peace? Let JPus know – we’re here to support you!

At the Justice of the Peace Association, we work for the change we want to see. We are an inclusive organization that believes in the equality of all people. Our activities reflect our core values.

Amateur Marriage Officiants

Lay-officiants give professional JPs a bad name. This includes state-sanctioned solemnizers and on-line ministers. Amateur officiants frequently fail to meet statutory requirements. This leaves couples without a marriage certificate, and burdens town clerks. JPus represents our membership through public discourse in the media, with state governments and legislatures. Read more.

JP Appointments & Qualifications

Ensuring that civil marriage officiants are appointed fairly is something very important to this Association. We are also interested in making sure that the profession is represented by competent and ethical people. We’re working in Connecticut to resolve the appointment problems. Read more.

Child Marriages

Child Marriage is not only a problem in far-off countries. It happens right here in the United States, and it could affect you if you are asked to perform the ceremony. As of August 2021, 44 states allow children to be married – oftentimes girls to much older men who would otherwise be charged with statutory rape. This is a problem that affects marriage officiants. As such, the Justice of the Peace Association is joining with allies to end child marriage. We established a partnership with Unchained at Last and joined the Coalition to End Child Marriage. In addition, we’ve testified to state legislators and written to governors advocating for laws requiring a person to be 18 years old to wed. Read more.

Human Trafficking & Forced Marriage

It might surprise some to find the trade of humans is another area that affects marriage officiants. Specifically, trafficking, which is treating people as objects to be bought or sold or otherwise used for personal benefit. Marriage is a gateway into sexual exploitation or slavery and forced labor. It happens to adults and children, men and women. JPus is doing what we can so officiants will recognize trafficking and know how to respond. More about human trafficking and forced marriage.

Cultural Inclusion

Aligned with our Core Values, JPus works to make sure our members, couples and the people in our community have a feeling of belonging. Naturally, members walk the walk as they abide by our Code of Ethics. JPus supported legislation in Connecticut that removed race from marriage licenses. In addition, we proactively work to counter bias. For instance, Making Marriages Accessible: Working with the Deaf is available on our training hub. So is Intentionally Inclusive Interviewing for Officiants: Recognizing and Respecting Diversity. To illustrate the value we place on this, these educational opportunities are offered free of charge to members and non-members.

Marriage Equality

Being an outspoken supporter of couples who love each other is a natural extension of our commitment to represent our membership and the couples they serve. The Justice of the Peace Association was an early and vocal advocate for marriage equality before it became law. Finally, on June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court decided Obergefell v Hodges. We stand together in solidarity with our LGBTQ friends. To this end, we speak out to address marital policies that stigmatize or discriminate against the LGBTQ population. Likewise, we are ready to mobilize if there is a threat to same-sex marriage. Read more.

COVID

Navigating marriages since the novel coronavirus changed our world is challenging. Consequently, the Justice of the Peace Association is prioritizing safety. Of course for our officiants, and also our couples and the community. We are providing educational information. In addition, we advocate with the media and state leaders. Read more.

Members only: Join in the active conversation about these issues that matter to you on JPus’ Facebook page. Not a member yet? Join here.