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Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore: Same-Sex Licenses Not Yet Required

Image: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore: Same-Sex Licenses Not Yet Required
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. (REUTERS/Bob Ealum)

By    |   Monday, 29 Jun 2015 04:40 PM

The Alabama Supreme Court has told the state's probate courts they are not required to issue licenses for same-sex marriages for 25 days, AL.com reports.

Citing a rule that parties have 25 days to contest a U.S. Supreme Court ruling before it becomes a mandate, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore initially issued a statement that sounded like probate judges were forbidden from issuing the licenses. He later clarified his remarks, saying "What the order means is that within that 25-day period no (probate judge) HAS to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple."

A federal judge in Mobile County already has ordered same-sex licenses to be given throughout the state in February, but Moore issued a stay on that ruling, too, saying state supreme courts trump federal judges until a U.S. Supreme Court ruling has been made.

"The Alabama Supreme Court did not direct probate judges to delay compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision," Shannon Minter of National Center for Lesbian Rights told AL.com. "This order has no practical effect. U.S. District Court Judge Callie (Ginny) Granade already ordered Alabama's probate judges to stop enforcing the marriage ban as soon as the Supreme Court rule, and that is binding immediately."

Moore became nationally known over his fight to display the Ten Commandments at the state Supreme Court building.

Former federal judge John Carroll, who now teaches at Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham told AL.com that the Alabama Supreme Court was not required to issue the order allowing for counties to hold off on licenses for 25, but added, "Were they within their rights? I guess."

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The Alabama Supreme Court has told the state's probate courts they are not required to issue licenses for same-sex marriages for 25 days, AL.com reports.
Roy Moore, Alabama, chief justice, same-sex licenses
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2015-40-29
Monday, 29 Jun 2015 04:40 PM
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