The duties of a Deputy Marriage Commissioner vary from county to county and from state to state within the United States but are generally empowered to perform Civil Marriage ceremonies during a fixed time and/or in a fixed place. Often, they are officials for a specific marriage where the couple wants someone special to perform the ceremony, after which their appointment expires.
Other times, however, a deputy can be employed by the county clerk to perform civil ceremonies when regular staff are unable to do so or are overwhelmed. Such was the case in February-March 2004 in San Francisco, California where dozens of volunteers helped alleviate the backlog of same-sex couples seeking marriages. (see:Same-Sex Marriage)
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