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Can a sea captain legally refuse to marry gay couples?

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posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 11:40 AM
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I dunno. Can a ship's captain legally refuse to marry same-sex couples? Would it relate to the country of origin of the ship, the ship's present location, or just the standard law of the sea, vis-à-vis the Pirates of the Caribbean? More of a question than a post of added information, which should come from people more legally knowledgeable than myself.
edit on 29-9-2015 by Aleister because: aye




posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 11:43 AM
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originally posted by: Aleister

I dunno. Can a ship's captain legally refuse to marry same-sex couples?


Those are purely ceremonial marriages, you still need a legally signed document to give half your s*** to someone in the United States.

But I suppose if it was their ship they could choose not to without ramifications.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: Aleister

This is interesting. I think the idea that a ship captain can perform legal marriages is a rumor!

Source



Let me quote from the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 32, Subtitle A, Chapter VI, Subchapter A, Part 700, Subpart G, Rule 716, also known as 32 CFR 700.716):

"The commanding officer shall not perform a marriage ceremony on board his ship or aircraft. He shall not permit a marriage ceremony to be performed on board when the ship or aircraft is outside the territory of the United States, except: (a) In accordance with local laws … and (b) In the presence of a diplomatic or consular official of the United States."

Similarly, the official logbook supplied to ships' captains by the British Mercantile Marine Office warns that shipboard marriages performed by the captain are not legal. If the ship is registered in New York state, the captain can be fined or imprisoned.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 11:46 AM
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If the ship is outside American territorial waters then they should be able to refuse. If they are in our waters then they should have to follow our laws. So is Kim Davis planning on becoming a ship captain now?



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 11:52 AM
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What if the Captain is a Muslim?




posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 11:53 AM
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originally posted by: buster2010

If the ship is outside American territorial waters then they should be able to refuse. If they are in our waters then they should have to follow our laws. So is Kim Davis planning on becoming a ship captain now?


Maritime law dictates that the vessel is subject to the laws where it is flagged on crew issues that occur on the vessel.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: xuenchen

What if the captain is a Pug named Chloe ......



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:05 PM
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a reply to: Aleister

Not a legal expert, but seeing as performing marriages is not a Captains primary duty, I don't think they would *have* to marry anyone. Would be like asking a mechanic to bake a cake. Mechanics know how to cook, but it's not their job.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:17 PM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
a reply to: Aleister

This is interesting. I think the idea that a ship captain can perform legal marriages is a rumor!

Source



Let me quote from the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 32, Subtitle A, Chapter VI, Subchapter A, Part 700, Subpart G, Rule 716, also known as 32 CFR 700.716):

"The commanding officer shall not perform a marriage ceremony on board his ship or aircraft. He shall not permit a marriage ceremony to be performed on board when the ship or aircraft is outside the territory of the United States, except: (a) In accordance with local laws … and (b) In the presence of a diplomatic or consular official of the United States."

Similarly, the official logbook supplied to ships' captains by the British Mercantile Marine Office warns that shipboard marriages performed by the captain are not legal. If the ship is registered in New York state, the captain can be fined or imprisoned.

The paragraph immediately preceding the material that you quoted from your linked source specifies that this regards the US Navy and the Royal Mercantile Marine:

However — and this is the interesting part — this myth is so widely believed, not only among the general public but among sailors, that both the United States Navy and the British Mercantile Marine Office have taken the extraordinary step of explicitly forbidding captains to do free-lance weddings.

So, not sure what effect that would have on a privately owned boat.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:19 PM
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originally posted by: xuenchen
What if the Captain is a Muslim?


Great, now the Cappy has to marry people AND goats.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy

Only if they have taken the legal steps to become a legal officiate, can they legally marry anyone. The fact that they captain a boat does not bestow them with legal authority to marry someone.

Can a Boat Captain Really Marry People?



What about non-Navy captains, though? Well that depends on the captain. They can't perform marriages at sea (or on dry land) by virtue of their maritime license alone, and no state has enacted a statute explicitly authorizing ships' captains to officiate marriages. However, if a captain also falls into one of the categories of "persons qualified to solemnize marriages" prescribed in laws of the state they're in, then they're good to go.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:37 PM
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What if the Captain claims "Jus Primae Noctis" ?
(right of the first night)
edit on 29-9-2015 by manuelram16 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:39 PM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
a reply to: Aleister

This is interesting. I think the idea that a ship captain can perform legal marriages is a rumor!

Source



Let me quote from the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 32, Subtitle A, Chapter VI, Subchapter A, Part 700, Subpart G, Rule 716, also known as 32 CFR 700.716):

"The commanding officer shall not perform a marriage ceremony on board his ship or aircraft. He shall not permit a marriage ceremony to be performed on board when the ship or aircraft is outside the territory of the United States, except: (a) In accordance with local laws … and (b) In the presence of a diplomatic or consular official of the United States."

Similarly, the official logbook supplied to ships' captains by the British Mercantile Marine Office warns that shipboard marriages performed by the captain are not legal. If the ship is registered in New York state, the captain can be fined or imprisoned.


I believe that applies to military vessels, which are always subject to CFR ad UCMJ, regardless of location.

In international waters, where national law does not apply, the Captain being head of the vessel has authority over his ship and its occupants. The Captain can be judge and jury and jail a person (the brig). There is conflicting legal precedent suggesting both that he can and can not preside over a marriage.

The prevailing view at this time seems to be that marriage can be performed by the Captain, especially if he is an ordained minister. The laws that would apply, if any, would be the laws of the nation where the ship's home port is located, regardless of whether the marriage was performed in international waters or not. Of course, obtaining a marriage license ahead of time almost guarantees that the marriage will be recognized as legal.

On a nit-picky note, the marriage can be performed but it may not be legally recognized in the home country of the people who were wed. The key word there is legally.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:40 PM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
a reply to: butcherguy

Only if they have taken the legal steps to become a legal officiate, can they legally marry anyone. The fact that they captain a boat does not bestow them with legal authority to marry someone.

Can a Boat Captain Really Marry People?



What about non-Navy captains, though? Well that depends on the captain. They can't perform marriages at sea (or on dry land) by virtue of their maritime license alone, and no state has enacted a statute explicitly authorizing ships' captains to officiate marriages. However, if a captain also falls into one of the categories of "persons qualified to solemnize marriages" prescribed in laws of the state they're in, then they're good to go.

That seems to answer the question definitively.
Now, what if a pastor or priest is also a boat captain and his boat is Panamanian flagged with an Indonesian crew sailing in International waters.....
?



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:41 PM
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originally posted by: Vroomfondel

In international waters, where national law does not apply, the Captain being head of the vessel has authority over his ship and its occupants.


In international waters the vessel is still under the jurisdiction of the laws of the country in which it is flagged.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:42 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: Vroomfondel

In international waters, where national law does not apply, the Captain being head of the vessel has authority over his ship and its occupants.


In international waters the vessel is still under the jurisdiction of the laws of the country in which it is flagged.

What if ya fly the Jolly Roger, Matey?
Arrgh!



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:45 PM
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Well I used to have boats/ships that would cross international water lines, Once in open waters I was basically sovereign eg. my boat my law. Once at a wedding party I actually tossed a guy overboard to "cool off". So at that point you can do ALMOST anything you want within reason, up to and including denying any thing you like or don't. By the way going from Galveston to Mexico on spring break makes a... forgive the pun, boat load of money. Those kids were way happy to pay 500 a head to go.(needed a bigger boat lol)



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:45 PM
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originally posted by: butcherguy

What if ya fly the Jolly Roger, Matey?
Arrgh!


Then you are probably from Key West and listen to Jimmy Buffet.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:46 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: Vroomfondel

In international waters, where national law does not apply, the Captain being head of the vessel has authority over his ship and its occupants.


In international waters the vessel is still under the jurisdiction of the laws of the country in which it is flagged.


You are correct. Thank you.



posted on Sep, 29 2015 @ 12:48 PM
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originally posted by: sycomix

Well I used to have boats/ships that would cross international water lines, Once in open waters I was basically sovereign eg. my boat my law.


You can think you were sovereign of your own boat but you are still under the jurisdiction of United States maritime law:


(1)The high seas, any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State, and any vessel belonging in whole or in part to the United States or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States or of any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, when such vessel is within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State.



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