Committee votes to do away with Alabama marriage licenses

The change would prevent probate judges who oppose same-sex marriage from having to sign licenses for gay couples.

The change would prevent probate judges who oppose same-sex marriage from having to sign licenses for gay couples.

The change would prevent probate judges who oppose same-sex marriage from having to sign licenses for gay couples.

The change would prevent probate judges who oppose same-sex marriage from having to sign licenses for gay couples.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation to take the state out of the marriage business in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday voted for a bill to do away with state-issued marriage licenses. Instead, couples would bring in a signed marriage contract and file it with the probate office.

The change would prevent probate judges who oppose same-sex marriage from having to sign licenses for gay couples. A few Alabama counties have shut down marriage license operations altogether rather than issue licenses to gay couples.

Senators passed the bill last week.

Legislators could approve the bill this week. However, it requires a two-thirds vote to pass because it’s outside the governor’s call for the special session focused on budget measures.

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