“I don’t want to. You can’t make me. So nyah-nyah-nyah.”
That’s what Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore told the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court and a bunch of same-sex couples in Alabama who just wanted to get married.
Maybe I paraphrased a little bit. But that’s basically the gist of Moore’s insistence that he does not have to abide by the mandates of the federal courts, especially when it comes to legally recognizing same-sex marriage.
And on Monday, Feb. 9, Moore explained to ABC News that he has to stop same-sex marriage, because if loving, committed adult couples of the same gender are allowed to legally marry, then all hell is gonna break loose and then “men and their daughters or women and their sons” would be insisting they be allowed to get married too. (Watch the video above.)
As of 11 a.m. my time on Tuesday, Feb. 10, probate judges in 20 Alabama counties were abiding by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to extend a stay of a lower court order striking down the Alabama marriage ban, while the other 47 were participating in Moore’s temper tantrum and refusing to issue the licenses, according to Freedom to Marry.
U.S. District Court Judge Ginny Granade issued two separate rulings in two separate marriage equality cases last month — on Jan. 23 and Jan. 26 — that struck down Alabama’s ban on legal recognition of same-sex marriage. She issued a stay, that was set to expire this past Monday, Feb. 9. The state appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals which refused to extend the stay. The state then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to extend the stay, and SCOTUS also refused. (The ruling there was 7-2).
(Just to jog your memory, Moore is the guy who was kicked out of the Alabama Chief Justice’s seat back in 2003 when he kicked and screamed and held his breath and refused to remove a 10 Commandments monument — that he had commissioned and had installed — from the state’s Supreme Court building. The good people then re-elected him as chief justice in 2012 — after his two failed bids to become governor and a presidential bid that ended before it started.)
Anyway, Sunday night, Feb. 8, after the 11th Circuit Court refused to extend the stay, Moore ordered the probate judges in the state’s 67 counties not to issue licenses to same-sex couples. His reasoning was that since he was the only person who could order the state’s probate judges to issue marriage licenses, and since he was not named in the lawsuit, the federal court’s ruling does not apply to him.
Moore told WND Faith website on Monday, Feb. 9, he’s not backing away from the state court versus federal court fight over marriage, because he believes, constitutionally, the states are allowed to define the institution.
And it will remain that way unless the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling on the merits, he contends.
But from what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said on Monday, Feb. 9, in the statement he wrote noting his dissent in the court’s 7-1 decision not to stay Granade’s ruling in Alabama, Moore is just (partially) delaying the inevitable.
Thomas and Antonin Scalia were the two justices who wanted the stay extended. In his dissent, Thomas said that the ruling “may well be seen as a signal of the court’s intended resolution” on the four marriage equality cases justices agreed to hear on appeal out of the Sixth Circuit. He argued that the court’s normal practice would have been to put the Alabama case on hold until it had decided the cases it has agreed to hear.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the four cases in April, and likely issue a ruling sometime in June.
The Supreme Court last October refused to hear appeals on marriage equality cases in other federal appellate circuits, but all of those trial and appellate courts had ruled in favor of equality. SCOTUS also refused in to extend the stay on a Florida trial court judge’s ruling in favor of equality, allowing same-sex marriages to begin in that state on Jan. 5. But that was before the court agreed to hear appeals of the four cases from the Sixth Circuit Court, the only federal appellate court to rule against marriage equality since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 ruling that struck down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.