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Senate Bill 143 aims to form clear separation between church and state

April 14, 2016

It’s a cliché image but one that is steeped in generations of tradition: A probate judge is awakened in the middle of the night to perform a hurried marriage ceremony for a couple of lovebirds. That’s not the way it happens these days, of course, but an Alabama bill awaiting a vote in the House this legislative session would put an end to probate judges even issuing marriage licenses, much less performing wedding ceremonies. Senate Bill (SB) 143, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Bay Minette, was first floated in 2015 in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling calling for equal treatment for same-sex couples seeking to marry. Some Alabama counties have stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples in an effort to circumvent the ruling. Albritton’s...

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