Probate Judge to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Published 3:25 pm Monday, June 29, 2015

The Chilton County Probate Office started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday morning.

“We are selling the marriage licenses just like the Supreme Court order said to do so,” Martin said.

Martin said he received a letter from his attorney recommending Martin start issuing the licenses on Monday.

“It was my understanding that all probate judges that do not issue them may be subject to contempt proceedings,” Martin said. “I’m not a gambler, and I didn’t want to take a gamble today that I could be in contempt of the law.”

Martin said no one came to his office Monday requesting a same-sex or heterosexual license.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore said Monday that probate judges were not required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples for 25 days, the length of time parties have to contest the U.S. Supreme Court ruling before it becomes a mandate.

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement Monday saying, “there is no justification for delaying or obstructing the clear message of the Supreme Court of the United States—marriage equality must begin in Alabama, and probate judges who stand in the way of that legal imperative risk exposing themselves to legal consequences,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow.

The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 on June 26 to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.

Although Martin said he did not personally agree with the Supreme Court order, his office was going to follow the law.

“I don’t agree with one part of the ruling, but I am going to follow the law of the land,” Martin said.