HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Alabama legislators are getting closer to making marriage licenses signed by probate judges a thing of the past.
Senate Bill 69′s sponsor, Senator Greg Albritton R-Range, said some conservative judges in the state object to same-sex marriages because of personal beliefs and political pressures.
A state LGBTQ advocacy group, Blk Pearl, said while SB 69 is a step, it isn’t necessarily a top priority for members of the LGBTQ community.
“We need to start thinking about the quality of life for LGBT Alabamians, healthcare, education,” said Shante Wolfe-Sisson, Co-founder of Blk Pearl. “All of the things that affect straight couples, affect LGBT couples.”
Wolfe-Sisson said bills like these sometimes make people within the LGBTQ community feel like outliers within society. “It’s time we start to talk about LGBT Southerners like someone a part of a municipality and not some set of people to treat differently.”
A Huntsville wedding officiant says she started her business on the premise of unconditional love. “I believe everybody has the right to love and live their lives exactly as they see fit,” said April Goosby. “It certainly is not for me, the judges, the church or anybody to judge. That’s God’s job, leave it to him.”
But she says a law like this one, that would no longer require partners to have an official ceremony, would ultimately put her out of business.
“It will be slow, slowly but surely. The officiants will go, people would rather spend their money maybe taking vacations, putting it down on their house,” explained Goosby. “Eventually, it’s going to run into everybody, the DJs, the bands, the venues.”
While some couples may continue with traditional weddings in the state, Goosby said she is afraid the odds won’t be in her favor if this becomes law.