A federal district judge ordered all probate judges to comply with the U.S. Cconstitution and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — but the order doesn’t go into effect until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on marriage equality cases it heard in April.
The judge ruled after four civil rights organizations asked the judge to expand her earlier ruling.
Most Alabama probate judges started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in February after U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade declared an Alabama law and an Alabama constitutional provision banning same-sex marriages unconstitutional. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court then declined to stay Granade’s ruling.
On March 3, the Alabama Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages throughout the state by ordering probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Granade’s latest order overrides the Alabama Supreme Court’s order. The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center jointly filed the motion March 6 asking Granade to expand her ruling to apply to all same-sex couples and all probate judges throughout the state. The original order only applied to Mobile County.
The district court’s order will take effect when the United States Supreme Court issues its decision in several pending cases seeking the freedom to marry in four states.