Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore said today, Jan. 6, that “Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act.” He said that a ruling against same-sex marriage a year ago was still in effect.
Marriage licenses in Alabama are issued by probate judges.
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
Moore said that ruling only struck down marriage laws in the Eighth Circuit — Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Moore ruled that no marriage licenses may be issued to same-sex couples until a further ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court.
The Southern Poverty Law Center called Moore’s statement a “dead letter” and probate judges that refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples could be held in contempt of court.