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Allen: Decision won’t change my policy

The U.S. Supreme Court may have legalized gay marriage on Friday, but Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen says he still won’t issue same-sex marriage licenses  – or any other marriage licenses – at his office.

“I am saddened that the United States Supreme Court ruled as they did but this ruling does not invalidate Alabama Code Section 30-1-9, which states ‘Marriage licenses may be issued by the judges of probate of the several counties,’” Allen said in a statement Friday morning.

“The word ‘may’ provides probate judges with the option of whether or not to engage in the practice of issuing marriage licenses and I have chosen not to perform that function. My office discontinued issuing marriage licenses in February and I have no plans to put Pike County back into the marriage business. The policy of my office regarding marriage is no different today than it was yesterday.”

Allen was holding fast to the decision he made in February, when a federal judge first ordered that same-sex marriages be allowed in the state of Alabama. At the time, he said same-sex marriages violated his personal beliefs. “The people of Pike County elected me to perform my duties and they also elected me because of who I am and the values I live by,” Allen said at the time.

Since then, Pike County couples who seek to wed have been required to obtain marriage licenses in neighboring counties.