We are using the term "gay marriage" here instead of the more
inclusive term "same-sex marriage" to improve access to this essay.
"Gay marriage" is not an accurate description for those same-sex
marriages in which one or more spouses has a bisexual orientation.
Monday, 2015-JUN-29: Chief Justice Moore is interviewed:
During an interview/argument with Chuck Dean, a reporter for AL.com. Chief Justice Moore appeared to conclude that the High Court's decision may not apply in Alabama, at least for a while:
Also on JUN-29, Dean reported that:
"Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore said a state Supreme Court order effectively kept probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples for 25 days.
Moore, however, later backtracked."
Chief Justice Moore subsequently said:
"What the order means is that within that 25-day period no (probate judge) has to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple. ... In that 25-day period that (the U.S. Supreme Court) order is not in effect, the (Alabama Supreme Court) order speaks for itself.
This belief is based on the standard U.S. Supreme Court policy of giving the losing side in each case 25 days in which to ask the Court to review their decision.
Dean wrote in his article for AL.com that Chief Justice Moore's interpretation was in error:
"One attorney, however, quickly disagreed with the interpretation of the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling. He also noted that a federal judge in a Mobile case had already ordered all probate judges in the state to issue the licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled it was legal."
Shannon Minter of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) stated that:
"The Alabama Supreme Court did not direct probate judges to delay compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision. This order has no practical effect. U.S. District Court Judge (Ginny) Granade already ordered Alabama's probate judges to stop enforcing the marriage ban as soon as the Supreme Court rule, and that is binding immediately." 1
Some readers of the article in AL.com posted comments on the developing story. Some were rather brutal. 2 Examples are:
Brian Curtis posted: "You lost, Roy. It's OVER. Same-sex marriage is legal, and there's nothing you can do about it without being removed from the bench for blatant incompetence (AGAIN)."
Ken Trawick posted: Get over it Justice Moore. Your ideology has lost under the current liberal political 50%+ reality. You must build 50%+ conservative reality in the next election to change the current status. Both sides are close to the American hopes. You can't succeed with negative attacks. Guaranteed. Quit being a Neolithic Joke.
LeRoy posted: "That reporter Chuck Dean has the temerity to use his privilege of access to report on the views of a Chief Justice of a State to argue with him is the height of arrogance.
Romberry posted: "Roy Moore continues to be an embarrassment to the State of Alabama. Don't know what it says about this state that Moore was re-elected after having been removed from office or that voters seem comfortable with a wannabe theocrat who seeks to impose his religious extremism under color of law -- American Taliban anyone? -- but whatever it says, it isn't good."
"allnutsunit" posted: "But here's one of my MAIN problems with the Judge. How does he expect people to follow his rulings if HE himself is NOT willing to FOLLOW rulings passed down to him. 1
2015-JUN-30: Civil Rights group asked U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to implement an earlier ruling that she had stayed:
U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. "Ginny" Granade issued a ruling on 2015-MAY-21 that had ordered probate judges throughout Alabama to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, she stayed her order until after the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision in the Obergefell case.
Four civil rights groups are involved in the District Court's case: Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Randall Marshall, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Association of Alabama said:
"I don't think anyone suggests there's any wiggle room in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision. There is no doubt the ruling applies to Alabama and there's no argument to get out from under it."
Attorney Ayesha N. Khan, of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, offered the opinion that Chief Justice Moore's latest statement shows that he is:
"... trying to unnecessarily throw a wrench into things.
The bottom line is there is no ambiguity about Judge Grenade's May 21 preliminary injunction which went into effect the day of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision. 2
2015-JUN-30: Current availability of marriage licenses for same-sex couples:
According to Randall Marshall, the probate judges in the "major metropolitan areas" of Alabama are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The remaining counties were expected to follow suit eventually. 2 In the meantime, same-sex couples would simply have to drive to an adjacent county in Alabama to obtain a marriage license.
Religious, social, and political conservatives in the state were not able to stop gay marriage; they were only able to make it slightly more inconvenient.
This topic continues in the next essay which describes
how the confusion in Alabama seems to be dissipating.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Charles J. Dean, "Roy Moore: Alabama judges not required to issue same-sex marriage licenses for 25 days," AL.com, 2015-JUN-29, at: http://www.al.com/
Permanent measure sought to force Alabama's probate judges to marry gay couples," AL.com, 2015-JUN-30, at: http://www.al.com/