This One Word Is Saving Judges In Alabama From Performing Same-Sex Marriages

July 25, 2015Jul 25, 2015

If you were forced to do something solidly against your beliefs for your job, what would you do?

That's the question many judges are facing after the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling.  Alabama judges have come up with a strong and creative answer.  No marriage at all. 

That's right, instead of being forced to participate in same-sex marriages, 9 counties in Alabama are saying:  We won't be officiating over any marriages, hetero or homosexual," according to this article.

Bibb County Probate Judge Jerry Pow said of legalized same-sex marriage, "It's wrong. It's not what this country was founded on."  Though it is inconvenient to travel the 30 minutes to the next county office, Pow says most of his constituents have been supportive.

The reason Pow and 8 other counties are getting away with standing up to the Supreme Court ruling?  Alabama law states that probate judges "may" issue licenses instead of "shall" and the judges are using that language as they close their marriage operations.

Sen. Greg Albritton is working to remove probate judges from the marriage license business, thus freeing them from the conflict and preserving their jobs.

However, Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, the state's only openly gay legislator wants to change state law from "may" to "shall" and thus forcing all judges to perform same-sex marriage, whether they want to or not.  She says, "You are just handing someone a piece of paper. Come on."

However many do not feel that way.  What do you think?  Do you think the 9 counties in Alabama are brave or crazy?  We would love to hear your thoughts!