Kingston city council votes to allow civil marriage ceremonies at city hall

August 18, 2023

The proposal to make civil marriage ceremonies available at city hall was brought before Kingston city council this week, in their first meeting since returning from a month-long break.

While different types of marriage ceremonies (including non-denominational) have taken place at city hall in the past, religious officiants have facilitated those unions. Although there are religious officiants in Kingston who will provide different types of ceremonies, including nondenominational, these ceremonies are not civil marriage ceremonies because the officiant’s authority has been obtained through their religious organization.

The motion was approved with unanimous support from city council.

“Allowing civil marriages at city halls to step towards promoting inclusivity and equity, ensuring that no one is denied opportunity to legally and officially formalize their love,” Coun. Tozzo stated.

Now that council has approved civil marriage solemnization services, city staff will start the process of acquiring the necessary training and developing administrative supports so ceremonies can be booked starting in January 2024. To start, ceremonies will take place one day per month with an option of three different time slots.

Story by Christena Lawrie, CFRC News, for the Local Journalism Initiative