Metro Weekly

Federal judge orders Alabama official to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Photo Credit: Kevin Goebel/flickr.

Photo Credit: Kevin Goebel/flickr.

The same federal judge who struck down Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional ordered a Mobile County judge to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in an order handed down Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade ruled that Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis is “enjoined from refusing to issue marriage licenses to plaintiffs due to the Alabama laws which prohibit same-sex marriage.”

“If Plaintiffs take all steps that are required in the normal course of business as a prerequisite to issuing a marriage license to opposite-sex couples, Judge Davis may not deny them a license on the ground that Plaintiffs constitute same-sex couples or because it is prohibited by the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act or by any other Alabama law or Order pertaining to same-sex marriage. This injunction binds Judge Don Davis and all his officers, agents, servants and employees, and others in active concert or participation with any of them, who would seek to enforce the marriage laws of Alabama which prohibit or fail to recognize same-sex marriage.”

More than half of Alabama’s 67 counties defied Granade’s ruling and refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples when the ruling went into effect on Monday. Both the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to extend the stay on Granade’s ruling. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore had advised probate judges to continue to enforce the state’s marriage ban.

Granade, who was nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2001, found Thursday that the inability of same-sex couples “to exercise their fundamental right to marry has caused them irreparable harm that outweighs any injury to defendant.” 

Mobile County, Alabama Marriage Order

Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's former political editor and White House correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @JustinCSnow.

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