It’s an exciting day in Alabama as the state begins issuing marriage licenses and performing weddings for same-sex couples, but couples looking to wed should be cautious.
Although many probate judges throughout the state have started issuing marriage licenses, they are doing so in direct opposition to an order by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
On Sunday, Chief Justice Roy S. Moore ordered probate judges to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples saying that to do so would be inconsistent with Alabama’s Constitution and state law.
Justice Moore had previously gained national attention when he refused to comply with a federal judge’s order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a Montgomery building. He was ousted from his position on the court, but three years later won back his seat as chief justice.
Many probate judges throughout the state, however, have started issuing marriage licenses despite the judge’s request, saying that they are abiding by the federal court order that deemed the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.
Justice Moore has argued that probate judges are not bound by the federal court’s decisions, a statement reminiscent of the 1963 efforts by then Alabama Governor, George Wallace, to try and block federally ordered integration.
A hold was originally placed on the decision to allow same-sex marriages in Alabama, but the United States Supreme Court has refused a request to halt weddings until after the Supreme Court takes up marriage equality later this year.
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