UPDATING: Alabama Chief Justice Issues Order Blocking Same-Sex Marriage Licenses


Chief Justice Roy Moore Claims Previous Order Issued To Probate Judges In March Remains In Effect

The Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court Wednesday morning issued an order to all probate judges to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Judge Roy Moore claims a previous order issued by his court in March remains in effect, and warns those judges that they "have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary" to Alabama state law and its constitution.

Justice Moore, "said the conflict between the state court ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June has caused 'confusion and uncertainty' among probate judges," AL.com reports.

The Decateur Daily adds that "Moore's order found that a June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down laws banning same-sex marriage in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee did not necessarily affect Alabama's similar laws."

"Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect," Moore stated.

For now it is unclear if same-sex couples can still obtain marriage licenses in Alabama via other venues. Stay tuned.

All updates are in Eastern Standard Time:

UPDATE I: 1:36 PM -

UPDATE II: 1:44 PM -
Moore is claiming the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell last June applied only to Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, the states that comprise the 6th Circuit, and which ultimately became the Obergefell case. 

Moore points to three recent decisions from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that he says state the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision only applies to those four states from the 6th Circuit.

Two attorneys weigh in:

UPDATE IV: 2:00 PM -
The Southern Poverty Law Center just sent this statement from Senior Staff Attorney Scott McCoy to The New Civil Rights Movement:

"Chief Justice Roy Moore today issued a dead letter. In no way does his administrative order supersede Judge Granade's federal injunction prohibiting probate judges from enforcing discriminatory Alabama marriage laws. If probate judges violate the injunction, they can be held in contempt. This is Moore yet again confusing his role as chief justice with his personal anti-LGBT agenda."

UPDATE V: 5:23 PM -

Some Alabama Judges Obey Chief Justice's Order Banning Same-Sex Marriage, Some Hysterically Defy It


This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.


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