The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered probate judges in the state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, ruling in direct contradiction to a federal judge that the state’s ban on same sex marriage did not violate the U.S. Constitution.
The 7-1 ruling came after weeks of confusion that begin with a Jan. 23 ruling by a U.S. District Court judge, Callie V.S. Granade, that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. A conflicting order by Chief Justice Roy S. Moore, who did not join Tuesday’s ruling, insisted that probate judges should ignore the ruling. But a follow-up ruling by Granade on Feb. 18 persuaded nearly all of Alabama’s 67 probate judges to begin issuing such licenses.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled not only that the federal judge’s ruling did not apply to most state judges but also that Granade’s ruling was wrong on the merits.