The Calhoun County Probate Judge’s office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples this morning. In a statement released this morning, Martin said several factors went into the decision to begin. “We have considered the Order issued by Justice Moore, which I have been compliant with, and the statements made by Governor Bentley relating to the Order,” she said. “While I am of the opinion an Order with further instruction to the Probate Judges is necessary, that has not been forthcoming, and the Supreme Court’s decision, by a 7 to 2 majority, has been the ultimate deciding factor in my decision today to issue marriage licenses to same-sex applicants.”
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Melissa Angle and Vicky Miles left the Calhoun County Administration Building on Wednesday morning with a marriage license. It was the first license issued to two people of the same sex there, and came two and a half weeks after Angle and Miles first attempted to apply for a license. “It feels like the air is lighter,” Angle said after getting the license. “It feels like we’re equal and not less than.” Suzzette Clark and Brooke Hunter, also of Anniston, received the second license issued to a same-sex couple in Anniston this morning, and were married in a brief ceremony outside the administration building immediately after.
Equality Alabama notes that almost all of the holdout counties have suspended the issuing of all marriage licenses, putting many of the state’s straight couples in the same situation faced by same-sex couples for all of their lives.