Lawmakers in Alabama have been freaking out about same-sex marriage for a while now, but their dreams of denying same-sex couples the freedom everyone else enjoys may soon be coming to an end.
Here’s a quick recap of what’s been going on:
In February, a federal judge in Mobile struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, causing panic across the Heart of Dixie, prompting a local branch of the KKK to issue a statement saying it was not pleased about the ruling.
In March, the state’s Supreme Court ordered a halt on same-sex marriages. But with the U.S. Supreme Court set to rule on marriage equality this month, lawmakers saw the writing on the wall.
Members of the state Senate came up with what they thought was a very clever plan: If gay marriage was inevitable, then they would stop issuing marriage licenses altogether. Nobody, gay or straight, would be granted a certificate. Instead, couples would have to submit a contract to a probate judge. But only contracts between men and women would be accepted.
The bill actually passed in the Senate by 22-3, but when it went to the House of Representatives this week, it died in committee, failing by a vote of 8-3.
Republican committee member Rep. Mike Ball called the bill a “very creative idea” but admitted “I think this needs more thought.”
Democrat committee member Rep. Chris England said the bill wouldn’t accomplish anything other than create more confusion around the issue.
“The core of the issue is going to remain the same,” England said. “It is still going to be chaos.”