While marriage equality has been the law of the land for more than a month, Campaign For Southern Equality (CSE) reports there are still more than a dozen counties in Alabama refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Following the June 26 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Federal District Judge Callie Granade ruled on July 1 that all probate judges in Alabama had to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
But as CSE reports, judges in 13 of the state’s 67 counties have stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether—and Coosa County is neither issuing to same-sex couples nor closed.
“The closure of 13 marriage license offices is causing complications and burdens for any couple seeking to marry in impacted counties and resulting in lost revenue and wasted taxpayer dollars,” the CSE announced in a statement.
“Couples – opposite sex and same-sex – have a fundamental right to marry and the closure of local marriage license offices presents unnecessary complications and burdens in accessing this right. The legal patchwork that now exists across Alabama also creates confusion regarding the provision of a basic service.”
Despite what lawyers for county clerks may tell you, it’s not as simple as traveling a few miles to get married—especially in the rural South.
“Couples seeking a marriage license in a non-issuing county face the burden of traveling to another county to receive a marriage license,” said the CSE. “A cluster of impacted counties are in the southwestern corner of the state, meaning that couples in impacted counties would need to travel even further to reach a probate court issuing marriage licenses.”
Can we bill the state for gas?