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Covenant Marriage bill on hold

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A bill that would establish covenant marriages in Alabama is on hold.  The Senate Judiciary Committee debated the bill this week, but did not vote on the measure.

"It asks for people to consider a different type of marriage license," said Sen. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City.  "Along with the option for a regular marriage license where they can get a no-fault divorce, the same as we know under current law now."

Couples who take the option would have to prove something like adultery, abuse or abandonment before they're granted a divorce.  The bill includes exceptions in cases of domestic violence and protective orders.  Those same couples would also have to engage in marriage counseling before getting married or before getting divorced.  Some Democrats on the Judiciary Committee think the bill goes too far.

"This is really going, this is not a little overboard, this is just overboard," said Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Jefferson County.  "We are just in an area where government should not be."

"It does not do what some of the fear comments have projected at all," Sen. Williams said.  "But I'm willing to work with folks and come to an agreeable point."

While the committee did not vote on the bill, it could come up again after the Spring break.

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