Lauderdale County begins issuing marriage licenses to all couples

Lauderdale County officials began issuing marriage licenses to all couples, regardless of gender July 1 at 3 p.m.

Five days after the Supreme Court ruled no state can ban same-sex marriage, United States District judge Callie Granade gave orders to all probate judges to immediately comply, allowing same-sex and different-sex couples to receive licenses.

“I had to make a decision to issue licenses or close down the marriage license office,” said Lauderdale County Probate Judge Will Motlow. “I did not want to put people to that inconvenience of driving to another county for marriage and paying another county’s revenue for marriage.”

Local counties, such as Limestone and Colbert, stopped issuing licenses for all couples after the ruling June 26, but now, all counties have a choice between allowing same-sex couples to receive licences or completely shutting down their marriage department, Motlow said.

“I could not cause that strife for this county,” Motlow said.