*In a bodacious act of defiance, the Alabama Supreme Court has ordered all of the state’s probate judges to cease the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This is the latest in what appears to be a growing legal battle being fought in Alabama over whose decision will trump the other: decisions made by federal justices or those made by state judges.
In the meantime, peoples’ lives hang in the balance.
The clash of federal versus state rights doesn’t start and stop in Alabama though, all across the nation states opposed to same-sex marriage attempt to block federal court decisions throwing out gay marriage bans.
But the state supreme court’s decision threw the issue into question once more. The challenge was set forth by two judges, one state – the other a county probate judge, among others. In its ruling, the Alabama Supreme Court said that all of the state’s probate judges, including those listed as “Judge Does” in the legal filings, “are ordered to discontinue the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”
Lawyers representing the same-sex couples seeking the right to marry in Alabama decried the ruling.
“It is deeply unfortunate that even as nationwide marriage equality is on the horizon, the Alabama Supreme Court is determined to be on the wrong side of history,” Sharon Minter, of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in a statement. “The Court’s action displays a callous disregard for the impact of this gratuitous decision on same-sex couples and their families, but those families should take heart that this is only a stumble along the way toward equality.”