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A bill designed to abolish same-sex marriage licences in the southern State of Alabama and replace them with “contracts” was defeated after it failed to gain enough votes in the Alabama’s House of Representatives.

According to AL.com the bill required a two-third majority to be successful, however only gained a simple majority in the house with 53 for and 36 against.

The bill was put forward to address the concerns of probate judges in issuing licenses to same-sex couples. The bill would have changed state law so that the judges would not issue licenses but merely record a contract signed by the two people marrying, in the same way that judges record deeds.


Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling in June 2015, over half a dozen probate judges, out of the state’s 67 counties, have resisted issuing gay marriage licences to same-sex couples.

Nick Williams of Washington County, recently requested that the state Supreme Court grant him permission to abstain from signing marriage licenses for same-sex couples, as he calls the documents “a license to engage in sodomy.”

However Rep. Patricia Todd, the first openly gay Alabama legislator, believes that changing the procedure would probably not satisfy judges who are opposed to marriage equality.

“What is the difference between handing me a piece of paper for a license versus accepting a piece of paper from me for a marriage contract?,” explained Todd.

Last Updated on Sep 21, 2015

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