A probate judge in Alabama on Wednesday filed a petition to the state supreme court asking the court to protect officials who refuse to issue or sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples for religious reasons, citing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ recent stint in jail.
Probate Judge Nick Williams is one of a few probate judges in Alabama who have refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, according to AL.com.
“The jailing of Kentucky clerk Kimberly B. Davis put at immediate risk the liberty interest of all faithful and religiously sincere public officials in Alabama whose office has responsibility for making decisions as to whether to give sanction and honor to homosexual relationships to include the issuance of a license to engage in sodomy,” a petition filed by Williams’ attorney, Jack Hinton, reads, according to AL.com
Hinton told AL.com that the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage “effectively criminalizes” officials who hold religious beliefs.
However, according to Randall Marshall, the legal director at ACLU Alabama, there isn’t a threat to officials in Alabama because no probate judge is currently facing a lawsuit for refusing to issue a marriage license.
“Needless to say from our perspective this (Williams’ filing) is the dying gasp of a probate judge,” Marshall told AL.com. “If public officials don’t want to do their jobs then they don’t need to be public officials.”