Allen: Decision won’t change my policy

Published 10:23 am Friday, June 26, 2015

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.”

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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.