Do civil liberties in the United States really depend on non-Quakers having access to self-uniting marriages (amazing what you find when you go to Philadelphia’s municipal offices‘ webpages):
What is a self-uniting marriage, you ask? No, it doesn’t mean you fulfill your self-love:
For couples who want to skip a formal marriage ceremony, usually their first thought is to just get a marriage license, go to city hall and get married by a judge, magistrate or mayor. But in Pennsylvania, getting married doesn’t even have to be that formal.
Pennsylvania is one of the few states that offers couples the option of a self-uniting marriage license.
The custom is rooted in the Quaker faith and is actually part of a formal wedding ceremony. According to the book Quakerism: A Religion Meaningful for Today’s World, the couple walks into the ceremony together and later rises and states their vows to each other. At the conclusion of the event, all of the witnesses sign the marriage certificate.
But the ACLU became alarmed when some residents of Pennsylvania did not have access to a self-uniting marriage (civil libertarians don’t seem to care that residents of Ohio don’t have access to this kind of union):
Because Pennsylvania has a large Quaker population, the license is available in most counties. But you don’t have to be a Quaker to take advantage of the service; the state American Civil Liberties Union took care of that in 2007.
An Allegheny County couple had been denied the self-uniting license because they told the Register of Wills that they weren’t part of the Quaker faith. With the help of the ACLU, the couple sued, and the court ruled that the license cannot be denied to anyone.
That’s a relief.
But it wasn’t enough to keep Donald Trump from becoming POTUS. Never forget, never Trump.