Federal prosecutors are telling Alabama’s probate judges that they are not free to defy the US Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage despite the order issued yesterday by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. AL.com reports:
“The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court has issued an administrative order, directing probate judges that they may not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year on marriage equality,” according to a statement issued Wednesday night by U.S. Attorneys Joyce White Vance of the Northern District of Alabama and Kenyen Brown of the Southern District of Alabama.
“We have grave concerns about this order, which directs Alabama probate judges to disobey the ruling of the Supreme Court,” Vance and Brown stated. “Government officials are free to disagree with the law, but not to disobey it. This issue has been decided by the highest court in the land and Alabama must follow that law.” Two law professors agreed that the U.S. Supreme Court was clear that its same-sex marriage ruling applied nationwide and probate judges who go against it could find themselves facing lawsuits.
According to the above-linked story, only a handful of Alabama’s probate judges say they are obeying Moore’s order. So far there are no reports of any gay couples being refused marriage licenses.