Alabama State Supreme Court Justice Chief Roy Moore issued an administrative order today saying Alabama probate judges should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Chief Justice Roy Moore argues the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on same-sex marriages only applies to the states specifically listed in that case.
Chief Justice Moore’s 4-page order says Alabama’s law and amendment banning same-sex marriage “remain in full force and effect,” and that Alabama’s probate judges have a “ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license” that contradicts the state.
Some probate judges in the state have already said they’d ignore Moore’s order, like Montgomery County probate judge Steven L. Reed. He tweeted “Judge Moore’s latest charade is just sad & pathetic.” But a few probate judges said they would stop granting marriage licenses while they consulted with attorneys. A notice from the Mobile County probate judge says his office would wait until he can “ensure compliance with all court rulings.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center accused Moore of “confusing his role as chief justice with his personal anti-LGBT agenda.”
Moore is no stranger to this controversy. His order comes almost exactly one year after a Federal Judge struck down the Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban, a decision he fought vigorously in the courts.