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Alabama Supreme Court dismisses petitions against same-sex marriage

[JURIST] The Alabama Supreme Court dismissed [ruling] petitions Friday that sought a ruling declaring the state's prohibition on same-sex marriage valid despite the US Supreme Court's June ruling declaring same-sex marriage legal. The petitions had been filed by the Alabama Citizens Action Program, Elmore County's probate judge and the Alabama Policy Institute and sought a writ of mandamus commanding judges in the state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and not to recognize any marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples. The court issued a one-page order and 169-page opinion with nine justices concurring and seven writing opinions. One of the justices, Justice Greg shaw stated [AL report] that he disagreed with Chief Justice Moore and that, "if a judge finds that he or she cannot abide by a controlling decision of a higher court, then that judge should resign from office".

In January, Chief Justice Roy Moore instructed state judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses [JURIST report]. The Alabama Supreme Court had ruled in March 2015 that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is legal and Moore's order stated that ruling remained in effect despite the Supreme Court finding [JURIST report] such bans unconstitutional. Moore's order had caused confusion among probate judges, with some defying the order and issuing same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] licenses.

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