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Bill to take State out of Marriage License Business passes Senate

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, March 6, 2017, the Alabama Senate passed SB20, sponsored by Senator Greg Albritton (R-Bay Minette) that would end marriage licensing in Alabama.

Sen. Albritton said previously, “This bill does not denigrate marriage. This bill does not de-sanctify marriage. This bill does not change the definition of marriage. All my bill does is to change the procedure for individuals to obtain a marriage.”

Albritton said that currently you go to the Probate Judges office to get a marriage license from the State of Alabama, this bill just removes the licensure part out of the process. This bill does not de-sanctify marriage, because the State can not sanctify marriage. Albritton’s bill would make it where you simply fill out a form with the signatures of the two people being married, the person performing the procedure, and two witnesses.

Sen. Albritton said that SB20 would resolve certain issues with Probate Judges who are opposed to marrying same sex couples.

The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of their being a right to same sex marriage in the controversial 5 to 4 “Obergefell versus Hodges” ruling. The Supreme Court order and subsequent court cases means that legally the state’s probate judges are obligated to issue the marriage licenses to same sex couples, no matter what the closely held religious beliefs of the probate judges.

Albritton said that purpose of his bill is to get the State out of the marriage business.

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The bill now goes to the State House of Representatives for their consideration.


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



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