Tate: Marriage licenses will be issued in Crenshaw County (STATEMENT)

Published 2:40 pm Thursday, July 16, 2015

Crenshaw County Probate Judge Will Tate has no plans to officiate any marriages from his office, but he will issue licenses.

According to a Statement issued Thursday, Tate will issue marriage licenses to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

“As a result of the ruling of the Supreme Court, with which I do not agree, same sex couples now have a legal right to apply for and receive marriage licenses,” he said. “Unless the law changes or unless the State designates another government office to issue marriage licenses, the Probate Office of Crenshaw County will issue marriage licenses along with other licenses to which all its citizens are legally entitled.”

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When Tate took office this month, he said he would suspend issuance of marriage licenses for at least three weeks. During that time, he planned to pray on the matter.

“I have had much to consider regarding the issuance of marriage licenses. I have sought spiritual and legal counsel and have carefully examined spiritual and legal principles upon which my decision must be based,” he said.

Tate, a member of South Luverne Baptist Church, said the Supreme Court’s decision that legalized same-sex marriages contradicted his beliefs and God’s definition of marriage.

“Marriage is clearly defined in the Bible. Before there was government, before there were courts and laws, God established and blessed the institution of marriage between a man and a woman,” he said. “God’s definition has not changed, and I agree with God.”

Because performing marriages are an optional service, Tate opted not to offer it in his office.