Alabama lawmakers now want to eliminate marriage licenses.
Conservative lawmakers in Alabama are now grappling with the marriage law without wasting time as they have approved an extreme measure that eliminates almost all abortions in the state.
On Friday, the Alabama legislature sent Governor Kay Ivey’s (right) office a Republican-backed move that would help officials opposed to same-s-ex marriage.
Under current legislation, couples must obtain a marriage license from a probate judge and hold a ceremony to “celebrate” the union. If Ivey signs the bill introduced by Senator Greg Albritton (R), the requirement of celebration will be removed and it will be up to the couple to register their own union.
Probate judges should simply forward these documents to an office of the state and can not refuse any marriage for which all papers are in order. This means that judges who personally oppose same-s-ex marriages could stand out from these unions.
In Alabama, some judges of inheritance stopped issuing marriage licenses after the Supreme Court decision on equality of marriage in 2015, because they did not want to be forced to fire same-s-ex couples. This forced some Alabama couples to go to other counties to get a license.
The bill would allow “all citizens of the state to go to the courthouse of their locality or elsewhere” to respect the law on marriages “without moving elsewhere”, said Albritton to AL.com, a site local information. .
Although this measure would functionally remove barriers to equality in marriage, Albritton referred to religious objections against same-s-ex unions when he debated his bill.
By virtue of this, “a minister who has an objection to a particular wedding ceremony does not have to do it,” he said.
The political leadership of Alabama is notoriously hostile to LGBTQ rights; Public television recently refused to broadcast an episode of the caricature “Arthur” with a same-s-ex marriage.
Alabama representative Neil Rafferty (D), married to his same-se-x partner, told AL.com that he could not subscribe to Albritton because he was “born of harm” to the community LGBTQ.
“These are just some of my definitive feelings, so I could not support this bill, even though it creates a system that treats all citizens in the same way as the state.” said Rafferty.
“I think there’s a lot less about good governance than protecting people who do not want to do their job.”
The bill was pushed by the House of Representatives and the state Senate largely with the support of Republicans, although some Democrats voted for it