An anti-gay bill that would have taken the state of Alabama out of the business of issuing marriage licenses failed to garner the necessary two-thirds House vote for approval during a special legislative session.
AL.com reports that the House voted 53-36 in favor of the bill. Sponsor Rep. Jim Hill said the bill’s purpose was to address the probate judges who’ve refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“This would not require them to issue the marriage license but would allow the individuals to sign the contract and record it in the probate court just as you record a deed with the probate court,” Hill said. […]
Rep. Patricia Todd (pictured), D-Birmingham, the Alabama Legislature’s first openly gay member, questioned whether the change would matter to probate judges who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage.
“What is the difference between handing me a piece of paper for a license vs. accepting a piece of paper from me for a marriage contract?” Todd asked.