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Ala. judges use segregation-era law to avoid gay marriages
Some using option to not issue licenses
W Gay Marriage Alabama Ledb
In this Wednesday, Sept. 23, photo, Daniel Hopkins, right, Whitley Jones, center and their baby boy Camden Jones stand outside of the Washington County probate office after being refused a marriage license in Chatom, Ala. The couple drove about 40 miles from their home in Mobile County to buy a marriage license at Williams office before finding out Washington County no longer issued them. - photo by Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — As Alabama's all-white Legislature tried to preserve racial segregation and worried about the possibility of mixed-race marriages in 1961, lawmakers rewrote state law to make it optional for counties to issue marriage licenses. Now, some judges who oppose same-sex marriage are using the long-forgotten amendment to get out of the marriage business altogether rather than risk issuing even one wedding license to gays or lesbians. In at least nine of Alabama's 67 counties, judges have quit issuing any marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions in June.
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