Probate Judge issues statement on marriage licenses

Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister issued a statement on marriage licenses on Friday, Feb. 13. (File)

Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister issued a statement on marriage licenses on Friday, Feb. 13. (File)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA–Decisions on whether to issue same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage licenses has varied between counties, and as of Friday, Feb. 13, Shelby County will only be issuing opposite-sex marriage licenses and will not issue same-sex marriage licenses, according to the county’s probate judge.

The press release issued by Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister states, “At the present time, the Probate Office in Shelby County, Alabama, is issuing marriage licenses to opposite-sex couples but not to same sex couples. This policy is based on the current state of the law as it pertains to Shelby County and to the conduct of operations within this office.”

Fuhrmeister’s press release continues by stating, “Of course, I am constantly reviewing my decision with my legal counsel in light of all new court orders to determine if there has been a change in the law which applies to Shelby County or to the office which I hold.”

No marriage licenses were issued on Monday, Feb. 9, and after discussions, the Probate Office resumed issuing opposite-sex marriage licenses on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Fuhrmeisters statement concludes saying, “This is a very emotional issue for many, and advocates on all sides of the issue are making themselves heard. It is my duty, as a judge, to look past the emotions and personal feelings and reach decisions based on the facts and legal principles which apply to me and to my fellow citizens. I have tried to do that in the past, and I will, to the best of my ability, continue to do that in the future.”

To read the full press release click here