AUSTIN, Texas—If you want to marry a person who has been arrested in Alabama, you’ll have to pay $40 in fines.
You’ll also have to file a civil suit, get a lawyer and pay $200 to get a marriage license.
A recent law enacted by Alabama’s Republican Legislature makes Alabama the first state in the U.S. to impose such a law.
The law is named after a 19th-century Alabama law, which called for all marriages to be conducted in private, with the husband getting to decide if he wants to marry the wife.
In a landmark case, the U-T Law Center, a law firm based in Alabama’s Capital City, helped defeat the Alabama law last year.
But Alabama is not the only state considering such a measure.
A bill introduced in Texas this week would allow same-sex couples to marry, if the couple is living in a state that allows same-day marriages and has an approved marriage license for same-gender couples.
The Texas bill, SB 686, was introduced last year by State Rep. John Gonzalez, who said it would protect the rights of those who are being discriminated against in Alabama.
“I’m glad that my colleagues in the Legislature have a common sense approach,” Gonzalez told The Associated Press on Monday.
“That is to stand up for the rights and the dignity of same-gendered couples.”
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has expressed concern that same-Sex Marriage bans are hurting the state’s economy and has argued that marriage licenses could be used by people who are not legally married to evade paying a fine.
His office says there are currently no cases in Texas that would require licenses to be issued to same- gender couples.
Greg Abbott, center, speaks with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, left, and Texas Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton, right, during a news conference about the state law that would allow marriage licenses to same gender couples, Monday, April 6, 2019, in Austin, Texas.
The bill has also been criticized for being vague and unclear, as well as by supporters, who say it protects the rights not just of same sex couples, but their children.
The new bill also provides that a same-faith couple may not use the state marriage license to marry if they have lived in the same household for five years.
Texas’ new marriage licenses are designed to be used for religious purposes, and can be used only for such weddings and civil unions between same- and opposite-sex partners.
But the law also allows people to use it for religious ceremonies as long as it does not conflict with their religious beliefs, such as baptism or same- sex marriage.
“This law does not prohibit a same sex couple from marrying a person of the opposite sex, or vice versa,” Attorney General Ken Paxtons office said in a statement.
“It only makes clear that a marriage ceremony between a man and a woman, or between two women and a man, is not permitted.”
A spokesman for Attorney General Abbott did not respond to requests for comment on the new bill.
In Texas, the new law is being challenged by some same-Gender Marriage opponents, including a Texas group called Texas Family Council, which filed a lawsuit against it last year in the Ninth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The group has filed suit on behalf of a same gender couple, who were denied a marriage certificate after they sought a marriage contract on the state-run website.
The couple was married at the request of the same-party marriage attorney, and after a judge rejected their request, the Texas Attorney-General’s office wrote to the clerk of the county where they live to ask that the certificate be issued.
The clerk said she could not do so because the marriage license was not valid, and the couple’s request was rejected.
The same-male-female marriage license is a legal document, not a marriage, and could not be used to dissolve a marriage.
The lawsuit, filed in U. Texas by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Equality Texas, alleges that Texas Attorney Generals office is not enforcing the law in compliance with the U and T Constitutions, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The U. and T Civil Rights Constitution states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition, association, religion, or belief, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”