When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, some Alabama Probate judges refused to issue any marriage licenses at all so they wouldn’t violate their conscience or run afoul of the law. Now, the state of Alabama is one step closer to issuing marriage licenses to no one.
The Alabama State Senate approved a bill that would eliminate marriage licenses and the state’s requirement for a ceremony by a vote of 19-1. Greg Albritton, a Senator from Conecuh County, sponsored the bill and Senator Phil Williams was the lone dissenting vote.
Albritton said during debate on the bill, “What this bill does is that it truly separates the church and the state. The state has an obligation to deal with marriage when it deals with the matter of contract law. The church and individuals have the obligation of marriage when it comes to the sanctity and the solemnity and the permanence of marriage. Those things are separate here.”
The measure accomplishes this by eliminating licenses and instead requiring couples to submit an affidavit saying they have gotten married, are over the age of 18 or have parental consent if they are over 16, are not married to anyone else, and are not related by blood or adoption.
Albritton does not believe that this would take away from the sanctity of marriage because couples can still have a ceremony if they want. According to Alabama Political Reporter, he said, “A ceremony should be held, I agree, and those ceremonies under this bill would continue to be held, and it would be held in accordance to the dictates of the individual’s religious convictions.”
The bill now moves to the Alabama House and if approved there, will await Governor Kay Ivey’s signature.
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Publication date: January 18, 2018