Alabama House Committee Approves Bill to Abolish Marriage Licenses in State

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A House committee in Alabama has approved a bill that would abolish the use of marriage licenses in the state and end solemnization requirements, a move that some believe will remove Alabama from the argument over same-sex nuptials.

Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Bay Minette, introducedS.B. 143 in February, which states that one of its purposes is to “abolish the requirement that a marriage license be issued by the judge of probate and replace existing state statutory marriage law with a statutory contract for marriage.”

“All requirements to obtain a marriage license by the State of Alabama are hereby abolished and repealed. The requirement of a ceremony of marriage to solemnized the marriage is abolished,” it reads in part.

Under current law, those desiring to marry must obtain a license, have the union solemnized either in a ceremony or before a judge, and have the license then signed by the officiator.

Albritton said that his bill separates church and state as the state would have no part in the marriage and ministers would no longer act on behalf of the state.

“It keeps elected officials from preventing or performing civil ceremonies, but also prevents ministers from performing ceremonies under the auspices of the state,” he told reporters.

Those entering into a marriage would instead submit signed affidavits to their local probate judge, who will record the information and also transfer the contract to the Vital Statistics office. Read Full

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