The Cullman County Probate Office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the same manner and pursuant to the same requirements as applied to traditional couples.”Honorable Tammy Brown
CULLMAN – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday said probate judges have a “ministerial duty” to comply with state bans on same-sex marriage, even after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling striking down these restrictions. The Cullman County Probate Office said today that it will not comply with Moore’s order.
“The Cullman County Probate Office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the same manner and pursuant to the same requirements as applied to traditional couples,” said Judge of Probate, Tammy Brown.
Brown said that her office received the order yesterday, and she communicated with legal counsel. After careful review, today’s decision was reached.
“I would like the public to know that this has been a very complex and complicated legal matter. This has placed all probate judges in the state of Alabama in the middle of a legal issue that should be decided by the court having the proper jurisdiction.”
Brown says that she has gone back and forth and has been very careful in making decisions on this matter, in order to avoid costly and complex litigation for Cullman County.
“The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order that all states were to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. I, as your probate judge, will do the best to follow the law,” she said.
When asked if she knows how many same-sex marriage licenses have been issued in Cullman, Brown said she has no exact numbers.
“Marriage licenses sold by the Probate Office are all recorded in Marriage Record Books, therefore, I do not know for certain the number of same sex marriage licenses issued this year (2016). The Probate Office did issue, then stopped, then issued…… same sex-marriage licenses in 2015,” stated Brown.
She said that the process of starting and stopping the issuance of same sex-marriage licenses in 2015 was due to the Courts not establishing a clear and precise answer on this matter.
“I would have to view the system to find the exact number issued for each year. I would not provide a number until that process has been completed to avoid a variation in the number actually issued.”
Brown asks that the public be understanding.
“I would like to ask the citizens of Cullman County to keep the Probate Offices, the Probate Office employees and myself in your thoughts as we have dealt with the complexity of this matter that should be decided once and for all,” she said.
The Cullman County Probate Office can be reached at 256-775-4803. For more information, visit http://qrne.ws/courts.