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HRC Says 44 Counties Still Refusing To Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, February 11, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) called on all counties to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  According to information from the HRC 44 counties in Alabama, 56 percent are still not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

HRC’s Legal Director, Sarah Warbelow said in a statement, “Alabama’s probate judges are tasked with following the law.  Unfortunately, some judges are willfully disobeying a federal court order, and harming loving, committed couples of all kinds in the process. It’s time for order to be restored and for the law to be followed.”

Probate Judges in 23 Counties have caved-in to the group’s demands and are issuing marriage licenses to anyone. These are: Autauga, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chilton, Coffee, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Wilcox and Winston.  45 percent of the people of Alabama live in these counties.

16 counties are complying with Chief Justice Roy Moore’s (R) order and are issuing marriage licenses to only heterosexual couples.  These include: Baldwin, Chambers, Clay, Cleburne. Covington, Dekalb, Escambia, Greene, Lee, Macon, Marengo, Pickens, Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, and Washington counties. 21% of the people of Alabama live in these counties.

Another 28 counties have stopped issuing any marriage licenses at all.  These include: Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Cherokee, Choctaw, Clarke, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, Dale, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Hale, Henry, Houston, Lamar, Lauderdale, Marion, Marshall, Mobile, Pike, Randolph, Russell, St. Clair, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Walker.  1.6 million people (34 percent of Alabama’s population) live here.

These numbers were current as of Noon on February 11.

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More probate judges are expected to bow to the legal pressure in coming days.  Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said that he supports the decisions of the probate judges no matter how they decide; while the head of the Alabama Court system, elected Chief Justice Roy Moore, has urged the Probate Judge’s to resist what he calls “Judicial tyranny.”

The group also announced that they are holding a, “Unity Prayer for Justice” with LGBT Wave of Hope and Members of the faith community at the Mobile County Probate Court at 11:00 am in Thursday.  They are hoping to encourage Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis to grant marriage certificates to LGBT couples.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is demanding that all Alabama probate judges follow the order of Federal Judge Callie Granade and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Human Rights Campaign says that they are America’s largest organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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