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Houston, Henry counties now issuing marriage licenses to all couples

Houston, Henry counties now issuing marriage licenses to all couples

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Houston and Henry counties will resume issuing marriage licenses Wednesday, and this time, same-sex couples are included.

The two counties’ probate judges announced their decisions in separate emailed statements to the Dothan Eagle Tuesday evening.

Houston County Probate Judge Patrick Davenport hasn’t issued any marriage licenses since February.

Henry County Probate Judge David Money suspended issuing marriage licenses to any couples last month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples had a right to marry.

On Tuesday, a 25-day window during which a petition for rehearing could be filed by the parties in that case expired.

“During that period the Henry County Probate Office suspended the issuance of all marriage licenses pending further legal developments,” Money said in a statement. “Henry County continues to maintain the position that we will abide by all federal and state laws related to the issuance of marriage licenses. After consultation with the Alabama Probate Judges Association, the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama as well as with attorneys for those associations, and after recognizing that all legal options have been exhausted, the Henry County Probate Office will resume the issuance of marriage licenses on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 8:30 a.m.”

Davenport had similar reasoning for making his decision.

“According to Rule 44 of the United States Supreme Court, ‘Any petition for rehearing of any judgment or decision of the Court ... shall be filed within 25 days after entry of the judgment or decision...,’” Davenport said in his statement. “Having delayed the issuance of marriage licenses in Houston County for the time allowed by law for a motion to rehear by the U.S. Supreme Court under Rule 44 and having determined after consultation with the Houston County Attorney that all legitimate legal options have been exhausted, the Houston County Probate Office will begin issuing marriage licenses immediately.”

Henry and Houston join Dale and Coffee counties in issuing marriage licenses.

Probate judges in Pike and Geneva counties have said they are no longer issuing marriage licenses.

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