The ongoing fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s “gay marriage” decision has renewed debate among officials that maybe the government should get out of the marriage business.
Alabama has been a hot-bed for the marriage debate ever since the high court pronounced same-sex marriage legal in its Obergefell v. Hodges decision. At the time, controversial former Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore requested that probate judges reject same-sex marriage licenses. His posture on the issue led to his suspension before a failed U.S. Senate bid.
Alabama state legislators took up the denial of same-sex marriage licenses based on their convictions that they run contrary to Christianity. Rather than be forced to participate in gay marriage, a legislative push was made to end parts of the practice.
Alabamans Want to Remove Judges from Marriage
Led by Alabama Republican state Sen. Greg Albritton, the move would protect state judges from being either forced to issue same-sex applications or face punitive sanctions on par with Roy Moore.
“We would not have changed this had it not been for Obergefell,” Albritton reportedly said. “But without the change, the law remains in conflict with Obergefell. So, we got to make some changes to the law to come into compliance.”
The legislative change that state Sen. Albritton has pushed for would not necessarily end the governmental connection to marriage. It would, however, not require judges to issue them.
“No one particularly likes changing our law, I’ll tell you that,” Albritton reportedly said. “However, under the circumstances, it’s the best thing we can do.”
Albritton has repeatedly attempted to push the change through and it has cleared the Alabama state senate. It effectively reduces the marriage process to a couple filling out a sworn statement that they are of age, not currently married or blood relations. The form would simply be recorded.