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Alabama Ordered To Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses By Federal Judge

alabama gay marriage

A federal judge ordered an Alabama county official to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Thursday, saying they must stop ignoring her ruling that struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage.

In January, U.S. District Judge Callie Granade found Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but agreed to a two-week stay on her ruling so the state could request intervention from the Supreme Court to delay the ruling even further. On Monday morning, the Supreme Court declined to get involved, making Alabama the 37th state where same-sex marriage is legal.

Dozens of probate judges in Alabama have refused to comply with the ruling. The Human Rights Campaign said just 23 of the 67 counties in the state were issuing marriage licenses to all couples, the Huffington Post reported.

Grenade’s order on Thursday was directed specifically at Mobile County Probate Court Judge Don Davis, who refused to grant licenses to same-sex couples. Davis began issuing licenses almost immediately after the order, although it was unclear if other probate judges in the state would follow, the New York Times reported.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Heather Fann” author_title=”Lawyer for four gay couples”]

This judge knows what his job is and knows very clearly that it applies to him as a probate judge. I don’t know why any other probate judge in the state of Alabama would be any different than he is.


The defiance of the probate judges comes from instructions by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who sent an order on Sunday night to not issue any marriage licenses to gay couples, arguing they were not bound by the federal ruling, Reuters reported.

Moore has a history of defying federal rulings. In 2003, Alabama’s judicial ethics panel voted to remove the then-chief justice from office after he refused to follow an order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.

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