County clerks in South reluctantly issuing same-sex marriage licenses

In Alabama, many county officials were granting licenses to gay couples, despite confusion caused by the state’s firebrand chief justice. And a large number of Texas’s 254 counties were either issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday or indicated that they will do so soon, said Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas, an advocacy group.

“We’re very pleased to see that clerks are recognizing the freedom to marry is the law of the land,” he said.

But many counties across the region said they were not ready to comply with the Supreme Court ruling that declared marriage a constitutional right for all Americans, with at least some waiting for firmer guidance from their state attorneys general. And some state leaders advised county officials that they may opt out of their duties if they have a religious objection to same-sex marriage.