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Tue Jan 27, 2015, 09:54 AM

A Democrat in Alabama!


Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed was one of only a couple probate judges in the state of Alabama expected to issue marriage licenses to gay couples today before a stay was issued on a federal judge's ruling Sunday night.

"From my standpoint, it was pretty clear cut," he said. "The federal court ruling striking down that (gay marriage) ban, to me, meant that any couple who wanted to get a marriage license could get a marriage license."

So, while the process unfolds, many Alabamians are ready to celebrate another landmark decision affecting Alabama's classic Southern heritage. It was supposed Alabama would be one of the last states to recognize same-sex marriage -- and this process could still take longer -- but when the Republican state legislature doubled down on man/woman marriage law (nothing better to do), they got the ball rolling.

Judge Reed indicated his political persuasion had nothing to do with it, of course. He's a judge! I'm glad I voted for him -- political persuasion had everything to do with it! Thank you, Judge Reed!

Prior to the stay, the Alabama Probate Judges Association advised its member judges to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Reed, who is a member of the association, said he disagreed with the legal opinion received by the Probate Judges Association.

"In my position, the people of Montgomery County elected me to make decisions based on my best judgment not based on a general body or an association," he said.

Reed, who is a Democrat, said his political views didn't come into play when making the decision. He said that would be against the "canon of judicial ethics."

Reed did say that he considers himself "an active guardian of the equal rights of everybody under the 14th Amendment."

If the federal judge's ruling isn't overturned, Reed said his office will be ready to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on Feb. 9.

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