Metro Weekly

Obama: In Alabama’s messy implementation of marriage equality, “federal law wins out”

“When federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out.”


—President Barack Obama, speaking with BuzzFeed News. Obama made his comments in light of the current trouble in Alabama regarding the implementation of a federal ruling which ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Alabama’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore defied the ruling, instructing judges to not issue licenses. Moore’s efforts, unfortunately, will ultimately be in vain.

“[T]here’s a core principle here that’s at stake, which is we have a supremacy clause in our Constitution,” Obama told BuzzFeed News. “When federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out.”

“My sense is that the Supreme Court is about to make a shift, one that I welcome, which is to recognize that — having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system,” he added.

Image Credit: Christopher Dilts/Obama for America

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at

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