The Alabama Senate has voted to do eliminate state-issued marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court landmark ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage in every state, a move that would essentially remove the state from the business of marriage.
The bill, which was approved by Senators in a 23-3 vote today, would require couples to file a form recording their marriage rather than have county probate offices issue licenses.
Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Range argues that the new law would end controversy over marriage licenses while ensuring that people can marry whomever they choose.
The AP adds:
Rep. Patricia Todd is the only openly gay legislator in the state, and she calls the bill unnecessary. Todd says probate judges should do their job and issue licenses.
The bill now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
The Tenth Amendment Center reports:
Civil or religious ceremonies would have no legal effect upon the validity of the marriage. The state would only recognize the legal contract signed by the two parties entering into the marriage.
“A civil and independent or religious ceremony of marriage, celebration of marriage, solemnization of marriage, or any other officiation, or administration of the vows of marriage may be conducted or engaged in by the parties by an officiant or other presiding person to be selected by the persons entering into the marriage. The state shall have no requirement for any such ceremony or proceeding which, if performed or not performed, will have no legal effect upon the validity of the marriage.”
In practice, the state’s role in marriage would be limited to recording marriages that have already occurred. SB143 would essentially remove the state from the issue of marriage.