Separation of Marriage and State?

     Alabama is considering a law to abolish marriage as we know it.  Not the form or function, or course, but its legal nature:

“Right now, if you want to get married you go to the courthouse and the probate judge gives you a marriage license.


“‘[SB377] does away with that and requires parties to enter into a contract and file it at the courthouse, as I understand it.'”

     In effect, it is a private contract that becomes legally binding upon filing of said contract with a probate judge.  Marriage licenses, then, would cease to exist in Alabama.  This isn’t to say that “anything goes”:

“The bill itself disposes of marriage certificates and replaces them with a contract that you file with the probate judge.

“But that could add confusion for all kinds of folks who rely on marriage to prove a link to the federal government,  insurance companies or anyone else. Plus it would put up another barrier for same-sex marriage.


“If the Supreme Court orders all states to issues same-sex marriage licenses, Alabama could possibly argue that it doesn’t issue any licenses, it just limits the contracts it accepts.”

     Chances are, such a defense won’t fly with same-sex-loving courts.

     The only way such a divorce (no pun intended) could work is complete separation of marriage and state, where the state recognizes a domestic partnership, and marriage becomes something that people are free, or not, to accepts without the coercive force of the state to induce them to believe, speak, or act otherwise.

     The text of the SB377 can be read below:


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