AL Health Dept. updating marriage forms in wake of gay marriage ruling

Published: Feb. 5, 2015 at 4:49 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2015 at 4:49 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health says it is working to revise the Certificate of Marriage forms ahead of February 9 when the stay of a federal judge's ruling that strikes down the state's ban on same-sex marriage is expected to be lifted.

ADPH officials say they're "working diligently" to revise the forms so that they can be sent to probate judges in each of the state's 67 counties.

The forms, which previously indicated spaces for "bride" and "groom", will be replaced with the term "spouse" and "spouse".  The new certificate also requires the gender of each spouse.

[DOCUMENT: Revised Alabama marriage license form (.pdf)]

The forms will be issued to each probate court via email Thursday for use if the stay is lifted Monday. Printed forms are expected at a future date.

Meanwhile, the State of Alabama is filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the order of Judge Callie Granade. A decision on that stay has not yet been issued.

"Certainly if the Supreme Court intervenes, then we just continue along the way we are," said Chief Health Officer, Dr. Don Williamson. "But, we wanted to be as ready as we could be come Monday, if the Supreme Court doesn't intervene. We'll just have to see how it plays."

In addition to marriage certificates, birth and death certificates will need to be updated if the court rules same-sex marriages are to be allowed.

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