The Alabama state supreme court today issued an order that effectively keeps probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples for 25 days. Chief Justice Roy Moore recused himself, but he said his view of the order is that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Friday ending the gay marriage order is stalled in Alabama. Seven of the nine justices concurred with the order. Only Moore and Supreme Court Justice Greg Shaw joined Moore did not sign on. “I am not real clear what it’s saying .. it’s very unclear,” Jefferson County Probate Judge Sherri Friday said. At this moment, they are still issuing licenses to same-sex couples as her attorneys review the order. Part of the order, Friday said, states parts of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that were appealable for rehearing.
Pointless grandstanding. But I knew Roy Moore was being suspiciously quiet.
UPDATE: The HRC says the above-linked report is inaccurate.
Today, contrary to some press accounts, the Alabama Supreme Court did not order a stop to the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) called on probate judges that were already issuing marriage licenses to continue to do so—and urged the probate judges that had not yet issued marriage licenses to begin doing so. HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow issued the following statement:
“There is no justification for delaying or obstructing the clear message of the Supreme Court of the United States—marriage equality must begin in Alabama, and probate judges who stand in the way of that legal imperative risk exposing themselves to legal consequences. There is zero chance of marriage equality being reheard by the Supreme Court—particularly given that all four states that were parties in this case have accepted the outcome—and as a result the Court’s holding in Obergefell v. Hodeges should be implemented across the country immediately.”