SHOWDOWN: Moore orders no marriage licenses for same sex couples
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — On the eve of Alabama’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage coming to an end, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has issued an order to probate judges around the state instructing them not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
According to Moore’s six-page letter, “no probate judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent with” Alabama’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage, which went into effect in 2006 after a statewide ballot initiative approved by 81 percent of voters.
Moore argues, as he has several times since the initial ruling, that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama has “no binding authority” over Alabama’s state courts.
In fact, Moore has argued that even the United States Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on gay marriage later this year, does not have the authority to redefine marriage.
“There’s nothing in the US Constitution that authorizes the Supreme Court of the United States or any federal court anywhere to misinterpret the word marriage to include something outside that,” Moore said recently. “Whether it’s about the equal protection clause, the due process clause, or the full faith and credit clause, they’re making these things up and they’re ruling on social matters… quote to me the Constitutional provision that gives the United States government the power to redefine marriage? You can’t find it.”
Moore’s letter also urges Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to intervene, should any probate judges issue marriage licenses in defiance of his order.
“Should any Probate Judge of this state fail to follow the Constitution and statutes of Alabama as stated,” Moore wrote, “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.”
This story may continue to be updated as more details are made available.
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— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) December 3, 2014