The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would end the state’s marriage-license requirement. It would also help same-sex couples get married, without a judge’s signature looming between them and the aisle.
Since 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages, some conservative Alabama judges ceased issuing marriage licenses to avoid condoning a same-sex couple’s wedding. If signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey (R), the new legislation would act as a workaround, creating marriage certificates that no longer require a probate judge to sign off. Instead, the soon-to-be newlyweds must file a sworn document that the judge records.
The new affidavit would require the couple to affirm that they are not already married and are legally competent and old enough to marry; under state law, a person must be 18 years old to wed without parental consent and 16 years old to marry with his or her parents’ consent.