Alabama Chief Justice Moore: State Marriage Laws Still Rule

Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court ordered on Wednesday that probate judges shall not issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples to wed. His administrative order said that at least until his court rules on the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year, that probate judges have a “ministerial duty” not to issue the marriage licenses.

According to NPR, Moore’s order said that in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, “Confusion and uncertainty exist among the probate judges of this State as to the effect of Obergefell on the ‘existing orders.'” He continued, “I am not at liberty to provide any guidance to Alabama probate judges on the effect of Obergefell on the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court. That issue remains before the entire [Alabama Supreme] Court which continues to deliberate on the matter.”

Moore has argued publicly against marriage for same-sex couples and last February, he ordered Alabama probate judges to ignore a federal court ruling that had declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. He has attracted widespread national media attention for his outspoken views.

Obergefell legalized marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.