Alabama Senate Votes 26-0 To End Marriage Licenses

The Montgomery Advertiser reports:

The Alabama Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would eliminate marriage licenses and the need to solemnize marriages. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, passed 26 to 0. It moves onto the House. Albritton, who first filed the bill in 2015, said it “takes the state out of granting permission, saying who can marry or who can’t.”

During a brief floor debate, Albritton said the measure aimed to resolve an issue with probate judges in the state who stopped issuing marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.

Under Albritton’s plan, couples would submit affidavits to probate judges for recording the marriage, which would be considered to be effective from the date they signed the form. Republicans hold a 27-8 majority in the state Senate and it’s not yet clear how the vote ended up as 26-0. This is fourth consecutive year that that Alabama Senate has made this move. All three earlier attempts died in the Alabama House.