Alabama Committee Passes Bill to Eliminate Marriage Licenses, Nullify Federal Control in Practice

28 Feb

Vox Day reports and comments:

Alabama takes the lead:

An Alabama bill that would abolish marriage licenses in the state, and effectively nullify in practice both major sides of the contentious national debate over government-sanctioned marriage, unanimously passed an important Senate committee last week.

Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Bay Minette) filed Senate Bill 20 (SB20) earlier this month. The legislation would abolish all requirements to obtain a marriage license in Alabama. Instead, probate judges would simply record civil contracts of marriage between two individuals based on signed affidavits.

“All requirements to obtain a marriage license by the State of Alabama are hereby abolished and repealed. The requirement of a ceremony of marriage to solemnized the marriage is abolished.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB20 9-0 on Feb. 23.

The proposed law would maintain a few state requirements governing marriage. Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 would have to obtain parental permission before marrying, the state would not record a marriage if either party was already married, and the parties could not be related by blood or adoption as already stipulated in state law.

Civil or religious ceremonies would have no legal effect upon the validity of the marriage. The state would only recognize the legal contract signed by the two parties entering into the marriage.

This is an excellent policy, and one which I have advocated since my WND days. The state does not define marriage. The state cannot define marriage. The state has never defined marriage; it is an institution that long precedes the state.

The state has the right to create whatever legal contractual relationships between whatever parties it likes, but those relationships are not marriage. The Alabama bill would clarify that, and would have the benefit of removing those whose marriages are religious in nature from the predations of the state’s divorce courts.

If conservatives want to save marriage, then this is a policy they should take to the national level.

I see the appeal of such a solution; it’s a way around giving in to the progs. Also, it would eliminate the system we have here in Canada where two people of the opposite sex who move in together are declared married according to ‘common law’ after six months or so of cohabiting, which I’ve never liked; why should two individuals who don’t want to get married either reap the benefits / suffer the negatives of legally being united.

Now, I don’t know what effect, in practice, such would have on how the courts would treat divorce, in terms of enforcing shared custody, alimony, division of assets, etc. I can imagine the possibility of legal chaos, flowing from such a change in legislation as this. Not sure, though.

For Alabamans’ (Alabamanians?) sake, if it passes, I hope the experiment goes well for them. Either way, hopefully it will be a decent test case.


Posted by on February 28, 2017 in America, law


8 responses to “Alabama Committee Passes Bill to Eliminate Marriage Licenses, Nullify Federal Control in Practice

  1. electricangel

    February 28, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I think it’s Alabamians.

    • Will S.

      February 28, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Ah. Like Panamanians, eh?

  2. AmicusC

    March 6, 2017 at 11:20 am

    just an fyi, quebec is the only rational province right now regarding marriage and cohabitation. since they are based on civil code not common law, they don’t recognize common law marriage. either you get married or you are not married that simple. though the guy that owns circ de solei (sp) just had to go to the SCC to have that ratified. he lived with woman something like 20 years, had kids, she wanted marriage he kept saying no. when they eventually broke up she sued for all the things she should get as ex wife. he defended saying that’s not applicable in quebec. lower court sided with him, she appealed, appeal went her way he went to scc and they sided with him. if I recall correctly.

    • Will S.

      March 6, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Yes, that’s right; because they are based on droit civil rather than common law, they don’t have common law ‘marriages’. Lucky, them…

  3. Jess Mee

    May 20, 2017 at 12:10 am

    The 2017 session of the Alabama Legislature concluded without the bill coming to a vote. It failed for a third time.

    • Will S.

      May 20, 2017 at 7:46 am

      Ah. Thanks for the update!


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