Alabama bill ending marriage licenses heading to governor

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A bill to end marriage licenses in Alabama has passed that state’s House of Representatives and is on its way to Governor Kay Ivey to be signed into law House.

The bill would end the issuance of marriage licenses by probate judges and instead have them record documents that would serve as the official records of marriage.

Under this new bill, couples wanting to get married would submit to the probate judge a form that includes an affidavit saying they meet the legal requirements of marriage. The probate judge would record that as the official marriage document.

The legislation came in response to the legalization of same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. In Alabama, some probate judges stopped issuing marriage licenses four years ago because they did not want to sign same-sex marriage licenses.

Under the new bill, probate judges would be required to accept and record the official marriage documents.

The bill also would end the requirement that a marriage be “solemnized” by a minister or another person qualified to do so.

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