Two years after same-sex marriage became legal throughout the United Sates, such couples still cannot get married in parts of Alabama.
On the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriages nationwide, seven Alabama counties have still not issued marriage licenses to any couples since June 26, 2015.
Political statistic website Ballotpedia notes the counties not issuing marriage licenses are Autauga, Clarke, Cleburne, Covington, Geneva, Pike and Washington. The remaining 60 counties comply with the Obergefell ruling
Before the decision, 15 states had same-sex marriage bans in place or stayed by courts, and many local government officials in charge of issuing marriage licenses did not comply with the ruling.
In the immediate aftermath of Obergefell, delays and refusals in license issuing led to protests, one clerk’s resignation and another — Kim Davis of Rowan County, Kentucky — going to jail.
Even now, the tension continues in several communities.
As of June 2017, Ballotpedia reports that a single county in Texas is refusing to clarify whether they would issue licenses to same-sex couples if such a couple would apply.
Other counties in a handful of states, licenses have been issued, but marriage ceremonies were no longer held in the county offices.
In 2016, after instructing Alabama probate judges to defy the federal orders on same-sex marriage, Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore was suspended for the rest of his term for violating judicial ethics. Moore later resigned his position April 26, 2017, to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
Alabama counties not issuing licenses in subsequent two years justify the decision by saying Alabamians can file marriage licenses in any county, regardless of residence.
However, officials in Bibb County, one of the eight counties that stopped issuing licenses, but later reversed course, told Ballotpedia at least one individual from the couple who are applying for the license must be a resident of the county.