AL Chief Justice Roy Moore orders probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Same-sex marriages expected to begin in AL Feb. 9
Published: Feb. 9, 2015 at 2:49 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2015 at 2:49 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order late Sunday night in which he instructs state probate judges to neither issue nor recognize a marriage license for same-sex couples.

The order states, "Effective immediately, no Probate Judge of the State of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama Probate Judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent with Article 1, Section 36.03, of the Alabama Constitution or § 30-1-19, Ala. Code 1975."

The order goes on to state that if any probate judge fails to follow the state's constitution, "it would be the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of the State of Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley ... to ensure the execution of the law."

The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected the State of Alabama's request to issue a stay pending an appeal of the state's ban on gay marriage. That rejection paved the way for same-sex marriages to begin on Monday.

Read Moore's full order here: (PDF)

The Human Rights Campaign issued a press release asking probate judges to ignore Moore's order, follow the constitution and issue licenses:

"This is a pathetic, last-ditch attempt at judicial fiat by an Alabama Supreme Court justice--a man who should respect the rule of law rather than advance his personal beliefs," said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. "Absent further action by the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal ruling striking down Alabama's marriage ban ought to be fully enforced, and couples that have been waiting decades to access equal marriage under the law should not have to wait a single day longer. All probate judges should issue licenses tomorrow morning, and Chief Justice Roy Moore ought to be sanctioned."

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