Judge: ‘We’re holding off’: Same-sex marriage ban lifted; Alabama to appeal
Published 6:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Whether or not the Escambia County Probate Office remains in the marriage license business remains to be seen, “but as of right now, we’re not in the same-sex marriage license business,” Judge Doug Agerton said Tuesday.
Agerton’s position came after last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide. It was a historic decision that invalidates gay marriage bans in more than a dozen states – including Alabama.
Initially, Agerton said his office would begin issuing same-sex licenses Monday at 10 a.m.; however, he – and other probate judges statewide – is now waiting 25 days for the Alabama Supreme Court to ask for reconsideration.
“We got word (Monday) that stated the state Supreme Court had 25 days to come up with an appeal,” Agerton said. “During that time, they suggested to us to not sell any same-sex marriage licenses.
“It wasn’t an order,” he said. “It used all kinds of terms but what it amounts to is they are looking for any way that something can be changed. It said you don’t have to sell the same-sex licenses; that we’re asking you to hold off until we have our day in court.”
Agerton said Friday his office fielded a number of calls from same-sex couples looking to wed; however, on Monday, that number flat-lined.
“Most of them were from Florida,” he said of the inquiries. “We have several that said they were from Escambia County – which is our requirement to get any marriage license.”
Agerton said his office will issue a marriage license for heterosexual couples looking to wed.
“But you’re going to have to show your driver’s license to prove that one of you lives in Escambia County,” he said.