Alabama chief justice Roy Moore on Wednesday instructed state judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses [order]. The Alabama Supreme Court [official website] had ruled [order, PDF] in March that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is legal, and Moore’s order states that ruling remains in effect despite the June Supreme Court ruling finding such bans unconstitutional:
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.
Federal officials responded Wednesday expressing “grave concerns” [press release] about the order. Meanwhile, the order has caused confusion among probate judges, with some defying the order [Daily News report] and issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
The judicial upheaval regarding same-sex marriage in Alabama [JURIST op-ed] has captivated the nation as the political conflict continues to unfold. A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama issued an order [ruling, PDF] in July that all Alabama counties must abide by a Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriage. The order says that state probate judges may not discriminate against same-sex couples after the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that same-sex marriage is constitutional. The order affects all counties that are issuing marriage licenses, but does not affect those that have stopped issuing all marriage licenses in wake of the ruling.