For a couple to legally marry in the United States, there are a few requirements that are consistent from state to state. Both parties must be of age (or have parental consent, if underage). They must formally declare their intent to marry, and one or more adults must witness the ceremony. The ceremony must be performed by someone legally authorized to do so, usually either a clergy member or a judge or justice of the peace.
Those are just the legal hurdles that a couple has to clear. For LGBTQ couples, same-sex marriage is permitted throughout the nation, but often these couples struggle to find a minister to officiate the ceremony. The Universal Life Church has a simple path to ordination that doesn’t require years of education from a law school or seminary. As a ULC-ordained minister, you can perform ceremonies for any couple who meets the aforementioned criteria, including same-sex couples. Many people have become ordained through the ULC, including American actor, comedian, podcaster, and producer Sean Hayes.
Officiating Online and On-Air
In 2020, Sean Hayes served as a guest host for the TV show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Santa Maria, California, nurse Lucio Arguijo was recognized by the show as a “Health Care Hero” for his efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Hayes interviewed Arguijo remotely, as the broadcast took place during quarantine. Arguijo discussed both his work life and his home life, which involved him and his fiancé Ian quarantining with Arguijo’s parents. Arguijo shared that because of the pandemic, he and his fiancé (who joined him onscreen) had to postpone their wedding plans.
Sean Hayes then revealed he had become ordained online and made a surprise offer to marry them right then and there. The couple became emotional and accepted Hayes’ offer. Hayes then instructed the couple to open a package that had been mailed to Arguijo from the show, which included a pair of rings. The actor married the pair, reading from a script. Hayes, who is also married, offered sage yet humorous advice to the newlyweds. “If I could give you one piece of advice, guys, it would be this: Never go to bed angry, okay? Save that anger for people not wearing masks.”
Sean Hayes is best known for portraying Jack McFarland on the popular sitcom “Will and Grace.” The groundbreaking and critically acclaimed sitcom was noted for its prominent LGBTQ characters, including Hayes’ Jack McFarland. In the 10th season finale of the show, the McFarland character married another man. Hayes is gay in real life and has been married to his partner, Scott Icenogle, since 2014. Having been married before the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, it’s possible that Hayes and Icenogle faced some challenges or restrictions when it came to tying the knot.
As a ULC-ordained minister, you can be the bridge between engagement and marriage for any couple. Although same-sex couples can get married, it is sometimes difficult for them to find a person willing to perform the ceremony. When you’re legally authorized to officiate ceremonies, you can also accommodate those getting hitched under unusual or extraordinary circumstances, such as a televised virtual meeting. Just like Sean Hayes, you can bring your wit, experience, and style to any nuptials. As a minister, you can develop your own approach to officiating, especially as a hobby or a source of income.
Not every minister can have a successful career as an actor or comedian, but almost anyone can become ordained through the ULC. You can oversee legal marriages without the time and expense of graduate studies in law or divinity. Join Sean Hayes and thousands of others and explore ordination via the ULC today.