MONTGOMERY-- Today, Alabama’s House Judiciary Committee advanced H.B. 56, which allows probate judges and public officials to cite a religious reason for denying marriage licenses, putting interfaith couples, interracial couples, same-sex couples and unions where one partner is a divorcee at risk. HRC Alabama strongly condemns the legislation, which opens the door to a wave of lawsuits.
“H.B. 56 does not represent Alabama values like fairness and loving your neighbor as yourself. The bill’s foundation is rooted in a motivation to discriminate,” said HRC Alabama state director R. Ashley Jackson. “H.B. 56 will open the door to a wave of unintended consequences for countless Alabamians, and we strongly urge members of the Alabama House to reject the bill.”
The bill would also allow a religiously-affiliated hospital or other institution to refuse to recognize marriages it disagrees with. This would empower a religious hospital to refuse to allow a legally-married spouse to make medical decisions for their incapacitated partner—or allow a religiously-affiliated university to refuse to provide appropriate tax documents to an employee who has divorced or remarried.
HRC Alabama will provide updates on the legislation as new details emerge. The organization is activating its members across Alabama to contact their elected officials in opposition to the bill.
HRC Alabama is working to advance equality for LGBT Alabamians who have no state or municipal level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; legal state recognition for their relationships and families; and state protections from hate crimes. Through HRC Alabama, we are working toward a future of fairness every day—changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.
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