Supreme Court orders Alabama to begin allowing same-sex marriages

Same-sex marriages can begin in Alabama. (x)

Same-sex marriages can begin in Alabama. (x)

The Supreme Court made Alabama the 37th state to allow same-sex marriage on Monday by denying a request from the state for a delay. This comes ahead of a decision expected later in the year that could extend marriage equality all over America.

Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said, “It’s a great day in Alabama for everyone who cherishes freedom.”

After a district court judge struck down Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban in January, the state attempted to block the ruling until the Supreme Court decided the larger marriage case. The Supreme Court set up a clash with state judicial officials by denying Alabama’s request for a delay.

Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, ordered probate judges in the state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore said a marriage license that is inconsistent with a State constitution shouldn’t be recognized or issued by any “probate Judge of the State of Alabama.” He also said that the opinions of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama don’t “bind the state courts of Alabama but only serve as persuasive authority.”

In response to Moore’s order, Cohen’s group has brought an ethics challenge against him. “We congratulate the same-sex couples who are finally able to marry in our state, and we honor the probate judges who are following the Constitution of the United States rather than Chief Justice Moore’s suggestion they defy it,” Cohen said today in a statement.

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