Ala. bill to abolish judge-signed marriage licenses heads to governor’s desk

Alabama bill to abolish judge-signed marriage licenses heads to governor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama House of Representatives has passed a bill to abolish judge-signed marriage licenses.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate in March, and it now heads to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk. Under the bill, couples would still get a form at their local courthouse to get married, but it would not be called a license. The judge would record who is married without signing it.

Some conservative probate judges object to giving marriage licenses to same-sex couples after a 2015 Supreme Court ruling made same-sex marriage legal in the U.S. For years, some have refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone.

Rep. Wess Allen, R-Troy, is a former probate judge and explained why he stopped issuing marriage licenses in 2015.

“Well I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman and that’s why I got out of it because I didn’t want to put my signature on a marriage license,” Allen said.

Rep. Neil Rafferty, D-Birmingham, did not support the bill.

“This was born out of prejudice because it accommodates a handful of judges that couldn’t check their personal feelings at the door and could do their job despite them,” Rafferty said.

The bill passed 67-26 in the House.

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