March 4, 2015

Courts Defy Courts in Alabama Marriage Fight

The Alabama Supreme Court defied the ruling of a federal district court Tuesday, ordering the state’s probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A federal judge declared same-sex marriage legal in the state, but in an unprecedented move, Alabama Supreme Court said the state’s law forbids same-sex marriage and probate judges “have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law.” This has caused so much confusion at the probate level that at least one court, Mobile County Probate Court, stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether. In response to the state’s supreme court ruling, it posted on its website, “The Court and its legal counsel are currently evaluating this opinion and its effect on the Mobile County Probate Court, given recent rulings of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. Until said analysis is completed, the Court will not issue any marriage license to any applicants. We regret having to take this action, but feel that it is necessary given the unprecedented circumstances that currently exist. It is the Courts [sic] intent to comply with all law governing its operations and to not discriminate in any matter against any person.” It’s a disagreement so severe that it may float up to the Supreme Court, where the chance of a ruling favoring traditional marriage laws is slim. More…

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