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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama House committee has rejected a proposal to do away with state-issued marriage licenses ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could legalize gay marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted down a bill that would abolish the requirement that couples obtain a marriage license from a probate judge before their wedding.

Instead, couples would have had to bring in a signed marriage contract witnessed by a minister, lawyer or other authorized person and file it with the probate office.

Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Range said the intent of his bill was to avoid chaos over the issuance of the licenses.

Opposed committee members said they were hesitant to make such a major change to state marriage law.