Questions remain about Alabama’s new marriage license law

Alabama's new marriage license law goes into effect Aug. 29

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama’s new marriage law goes into effect next week. Some still have questions about its impact.

Tara Turner got her marriage license Wednesday at the Jefferson County Courthouse. Even though she won’t have a marriage ceremony for about a year, she and her new husband wanted to beat the August 29th deadline.

“August 29th they are changing the laws. You don’t get a paper any more. It’s nothing traditional about it no more,” Turner said.

Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King said only 7 of 67 probate judges objected to issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in Alabama. He says the state legislature changed the law to protect the religious beliefs of those probate judges.

King said he still has questions about the new law.

“From the standpoint of inheritance, from the stand point if a marriage doesn’t work out for someone, from the stand point of insurance benefits. We’ve got to see how that plays out,” King said.

Under the new system, you download a form, sign it, and get it notarized.

King is concerned about possible abuses.

“When somebody gets a marriage license now we’re seeing them face to face and we will assess the situation and make sure it’s really them and that sort of thing,” King said.

Turner likes to have a marriage license instead of the new method. “I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. Like I said, I like it old fashion. It means more,” Turner said.

King said his office is still awaiting instructions about the new law. The law will require you to be of legal age and not to be married to someone else, but King is not sure that is going to be enforced without personal contact.

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