More Alabama counties begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Tori Sisson, left, and Shante Wolfe, right, exchange wedding rings during their wedding ceremony, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Sisson and Wolfe are the first couple to file their marriage license in Montgomery County. Brynn Anderson, AP

Tori Sisson, left, and Shante Wolfe, right, exchange wedding rings during their wedding ceremony, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Sisson and Wolfe are the first couple to file their marriage license in Montgomery County. Brynn Anderson, AP

Tori Sisson, left, and Shante Wolfe, right, exchange wedding rings during their wedding ceremony, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Sisson and Wolfe are the first couple to file their marriage license in Montgomery County.

Updated: 4:45 p.m. CST

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — More and more Alabama courthouses are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

A check by The Associated Press showed at least 19 of the state’s 67 counties were allowing the marriages by Tuesday afternoon. That was more than double the number from Monday, the first possible day for gays and lesbians to wed.

Probate judges said they decided to issue the licenses based on advice from county attorneys and others.

The counties where officials said they already had issued same-sex marriage licenses or would do so included: Autauga, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Geneva, Jefferson, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, and Wilcox.

A federal judge struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage, but probate judges are faced with an order from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore telling them not to allow the unions.

“It’s awfully murky water we’re swimming in, and I hope we keep our heads above water,” Butler County Probate Judge Steve Norman said of his decision to issue same-sex licenses.

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Some probate offices still aren’t issuing licenses, including Mobile County. A federal judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday afternoon on a request by gay couples to force Mobile to issue same-sex licenses.

On Monday, attorneys for one of the same-sex couples who successfully challenged Alabama’s gay marriage ban filed a new lawsuit against Mobile County probate judge Don Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and plaintiffs in an existing case amended their complaint to also name Davis as a defendant.

A federal judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday afternoon on the motion to add Davis as a defendant in the existing challenge to the ban to force him to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

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