Cain: All couples to get licenses
The Morgan County Probate Office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples a day after a stay ended for a U.S. District Court ruling striking down Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.
Upon the advice of legal counsel, Probate Judge Greg Cain decided that his office would begin issuing licenses to all couples after reviewing a number of rulings and opinions.
“It wasn’t just one thing,” Cain said. “The Supreme Court ruling played a part in it, but it was really the totality of the information that we had that led us to make this decision.”
Cain said his office was ready to begin offering same-sex marriage licenses Monday, but he put a hold on issuing all marriage licenses – traditional and same-sex – after he was ordered by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Sunday at 8:18 p.m. to not issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
“We had everything in place, but when the order came down Sunday night, I just felt like we needed to wait until everything was clear,” Cain said. “We just wanted a chance to evaluate all of the rulings before we made the final decision. We had two conflicting orders – one from the Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. District Court – on the same-sex marriage issue. Until we got that resolved, we just decided not to issue any marriage licenses.”
U.S. District Judge Callie V. “Ginny” Granade struck down the Sanctity of Marriage amendment Jan. 23 and then issued a 14-day stay allowing the state to appeal the ruling.
The stay ran out Monday, as neither the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nor the U.S. Supreme Court has granted any further injunctions.
While some probate offices were busy with same-sex couples purchasing marriage licenses, Cain said his office has been slow.
“We’ve issued only two marriage licenses today,” Cain said Tuesday afternoon. “Both of them were traditional couples.