Decatur County prepared to follow law of the land with same-sex marriage
Published 6:27 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2015
It’s business as usual for the Decatur County Probate Court, according to Judge Edwin “Chip” Perry, III.
Perry said Tuesday morning that the court had yet to receive marriage license applications from same-sex couples after the controversial ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court last Friday struck down state bans on same-sex marriage.
“We are fully prepared to follow and uphold the law and issue marriage licenses to anyone who qualifies,” Perry said. “My professional opinion is that I’ve got to uphold the law.”
Many politicians, including Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, have said that they think state governments should make such decisions, but that they will follow the law of the land.
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“While I believe that this issue should be decided by the states and by legislatures, not the federal judiciary, I also believe in the rule of law,” Deal said in a statement following Friday’s Obergefell V. Hodges ruling. “The state of Georgia is subject to the laws of the United States, and we will follow them.”
In a memorandum to Georgia state agencies from the office of Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens Friday, Olens reiterated that the ruling does not permit bans on same-sex marriage
“Georgia’s local governments are now constitutionally required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, to issue those licenses in the same way and via the same procedures employed for all other applicants, and to recognize same-sex marriages on an equal footing with all other marriages,” the memo reads. “State agencies and state employees are required to treat those who are lawfully married in a similar fashion. State agencies and employees should immediately review their current practices related to their agency’s function and benefits and ensure that their practices conform to the current state of the law. In addition, to the extent that prior practices impact on-going services or recognition, agencies should establish a process to review any past agency decisions that must be remediated in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling.”