Tuesday, June 04

The Debunker: Can Sea Captains Officiate Weddings?

by Ken Jennings

June means summer and the promise of long, lazy days at the beach, which might be why this is the time of year the United Nations observes World Oceans Day and the U.S. celebrates National Oceans Month, in order to raise awareness of the seven seas, what Melville called “the watery part of the world.” In that vein, we’ve asked Skipper Ken Jennings to navigate us through four maritime myths that refuse to die. It turns out that none of them really hold water.

Ocean Myth #1: Sea Captains Can Marry People.

Well, yes, sea captains can marry someone. In fact, in eleven states and many foreign ports, a sea captain can now marry another seafarer of the same sex. But what they’re not allowed to do is marry other people—that is, officiate at wedding ceremonies, pronounce that couples arrrr! now man and wife.

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