Shelby County begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Same-sex marriage supporters gathered at Eclipse Coffee and Books in Montevallo on the night of June 26 to celebrate a Supreme Court order requiring states to issue same-sex marriage licenses. (Special to the Reporter/Eric Starling)

Same-sex marriage supporters gathered at Eclipse Coffee and Books in Montevallo on the night of June 26 to celebrate a Supreme Court order requiring states to issue same-sex marriage licenses. (Special to the Reporter/Eric Starling)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Probate Court began issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Monday, June 29, three days after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered all states to begin doing so.

In a statement issued on June 29, the Shelby County Probate Court office said Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister reviewed the Supreme Court order over the weekend before moving forward on the matter.

“Judge Fuhrmeister has said all along that he will follow the law as it applies to Shelby County,” read the statement. “After reading the opinion of the United States Supreme Court on Friday, he has determined that the law requires Shelby County to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses immediately.”

The Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling on June 26 ordering states to issue same-sex marriage licenses a few months after the Alabama Supreme Court ordered the state’s probate judges to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

The day the Supreme Court issued its order, Fuhrmeister said he planned to review the order before making a decision on issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Shelby County.

Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision was announced, a small group gathered in front of the Shelby County Courthouse to celebrate the occasion, waving signs reading “America ready for the freedom to marry.”

On the night of June 26, about 15 same-sex marriage supporters held a celebration at Eclipse Coffee and Books in Montevallo.