TN couple get a taste of the fight for marriage equality in Alabama

Caleb Banks of Columbia, Tennessee and his husband just got back from Huntsville, Alabama where they got married.  In light of the Alabama Supreme Court ordering probate judges to stop marrying same-sex couples, Caleb is wondering where things stand and whether he'll get his official marriage certificate, which will have an effect on his family's health insurance.  Caleb is an equality advocate who is  serving as a district captain for Advancing Equality Day on the Hill coming up on Tuesday of next week.

Here's some of his story in his words:

"I'd first like to say, what an amazingly easy process it was to marry in the state of Alabama. We traveled from Columbia TN ON my Birthday, March 3rd to wed in Huntsville. Upon arriving we entered to probate office and spoke with the clerk there and I had asked why they were not performing the ceremonies in the Courthouse anymore. She stated 'We are so overwhelmed with people from counties far south of us and from Tennessee I cannot keep up with the demand, I send hundreds of certificates a day and I'm still backed up to Feb 28th." 
Upon getting the OK that I can marry I contacted a WONDERFUL lady named Bonnie Harrison. She is a lawyer's wife who does the ceremonies. As delightful as she was the atmosphere in the courthouse itself was quite tense. Though uncomfortable with people staring and whispering amongst themselves we proceeded with the ceremony right in front of them. Though too nervous we forgot to even get a picture, which we will probably go back down there to do one anyways.
On that note, I would like to share with you the contact information of Bonnie in case anyone else would like to go to Huntsville when this mess is all cleared up. Confused by the outcome of today at the end of the day. We are left in limbo now. Where do we go from here? Is our marriage legal? Are we even considered to be married? Will we receive our official Marriage license? Though I really hope all of this does clear up. Because in my mind, and my heart, I am married no matter who says what. No amount of preparations could prepare you for the intense, overwhelming love you feel when you stand there, holding onto your partners hands and saying those words 'I do."
Bonnie Harrison (256) 534-8485 The ceremony cost us $50 which was not bad and the license was $59 altogether well worth the trip."
Thanks, Caleb, for sharing your story!

Showing 4 reactions

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  • Rose Mary Drake
    commented 2015-03-03 23:49:19 -0600
    I wasn’t aware of the latest AL Supreme Court ruling when I read this, since it just came out a few hours ago. Also didn’t know what their employer had said. Now this makes a little more sense. Hope it’s only a short delay for them.
  • Michelle Banks
    commented 2015-03-03 23:46:35 -0600
    It had nothing to do with the clerk… hello…. with the Supreme Court holding things up they may NOT be legally married.. Not a damn thing to do with the clerk..
  • Chris Sanders
    commented 2015-03-03 23:32:06 -0600
    They’re not criticizing the clerk. The issue is that they don’t know, given what the State Supreme Court has done, whether they will get their official copy or how soon. It’s not clear how far the Alabama Supreme Court will go in trying to delay the inevitable and what impact it will have on health insurance for their family since work told them they have to have proof of marriage in order to get the family plan.
  • Rose Mary Drake
    commented 2015-03-03 23:28:29 -0600
    I’m not understanding what this couple thinks the problem is. If the clerk is sending out hundreds of certificates a day, and is only backed up to Feb. 28th, and they were there on March 3rd, that means she’s only two business days behind. Doesn’t sound bad under the circumstances. I bet they get their marriage license certificate within a week.

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