Thursday, February 12, 2015

Federal judge orders Mobile probate judge to do his job, issue same-sex marriage licenses

It's a good day to be gay, particularly in Alabama. Not only did Chief Justice Roy Moore get verbally ripped from one end to another during a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo, but less than an hour ago, a federal judge ordered the probate judge in Mobile, AL to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses:

A federal judge on Thursday afternoon ordered Mobile County, Alabama to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, a ruling that could pave the way for other local officials across the state to follow suit.

In an eight-page decision, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade reiterated that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage had been struck down and clarified that Mobile County’s probate judge, Don Davis, had to adhere to that decision.

Shortly afterward, the Mobile county office that issues marriage licenses opened its windows, which had remained shuttered this week, to begin serving all couples.

Though Granade’s ruling only applies to Mobile County, gay rights groups hope it will provide clarity to probate judges in all 67 Alabama counties, more than half of whom refused to give out marriage licenses to gay couples this week even though same-sex marriage became legal in the state on Monday.

 . . .  It was Roy Moore, the state’s chief justice, who prompted the defiance of many probate judges by ordering them late Sunday not to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

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