We have all heard about the importance of fighting for equality before the law when it comes to the same-sex marriage debate. What many of us haven’t seen much is political activists wanting to diminish, not enlarge, the presence of the state in the private lives of couples everywhere, whether they are gay or straight.
Fortunately, many local advocates saw the push for the legalization of same-sex marriage across the country as a good opportunity to remind folks of all walks of life that the more government is involved in our personal affairs, the more unjust their policies become.
In Alabama, a bill that abolishes locals’ need for marriage licenses has been prefiled.
Senate Bill 13’s wording would ensure that all requirements to obtain marriage licenses in the state would be stricken down, allowing for civil judges to record civil contracts of marriage with the help of signed affidavits instead.
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, these judges would not have the authority to reject a marriage recording, making it completely up to the two people who are tying the knot to go on with their plan without fear that the state would stand in the way.
While the proposed legislation would still maintain some other state requirements such as prohibiting marriage between people who are related by blood or adoption, keeping minors between the ages of 16 and 18 from marrying without their parents’ consent, and not allowing judges to record the marriage if one or both parties are already married, this bill would effectively put an end to the state’s power over marriage as a couple would not have to go to the local government to ask permission to marry the person of their choosing first.
Because government became involved in marriages, prejudice became the law. As a matter of fact, state marriage licenses were only implemented because government officials wanted to find a way to prevent interracial marriages.
Over time, these same tools were used to keep same-sex couples from officializing their union as well.
Currently, this bill would help to reduce the state’s involvement in marriage altogether, helping to defy the federal government’s rules and providing locals with more freedom, which may be a reason for many to move to the state if the bill passes.
Hopefully, the bill, which will only be officially introduced on Jan. 8, 2018, will find strong supporters in both chambers of state legislature so that it may be signed into law in the near future.