Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Alabama Senate this week passed a bill to eliminate marriage licenses and instead move to a system in which marriages are recorded by probate judges.

SB20, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, abolishes the requirement that a marriage license be issued by the judge of probate and replaces existing state marriage law to provide that a marriage would be entered into by two parties. Once the couple presented affadavits to the probate court, the judge of probate would record each marriage.

If passed by the House, the only requirement for a marriage in Alabama will be for couples who are otherwise legally authorized to be married to enter into a marriage agreement as provided herein.

The legislature has seen similar bills proposed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, but they have not passed.

Covington County is one of eight counties that does not issue marriage licenses in light of the same-sex marriage issue.

The Senate passed the bill 22-6. It now goes to the House.