Virulently anti-gay Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order today saying that, although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage was a constitutional right last June, probate judges in Alabama are to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.
Moore asserts that his state Supreme Court's ruling from March of 2015 is still in effect upholding the state's ban on marriage equality.
Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order today saying that a ruling issued last March by the Alabama Supreme Court remains in effect and that probate judges "have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary" to Alabama's law and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
In a four-page administrative order, Moore said the conflict between the state court ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June has caused "confusion and uncertainty" among probate judges.
Moore said he issued the order today in his role as administrative head of the state court system. He quoted a state law that says the chief justice is empowered to "take affirmative and appropriate action to correct or alleviate any condition or situation adversely affecting the administration of justice within the state."
Moore's order drew forceful criticism.
Scott McCoy, senior staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, issued a statement calling Moore's order a "dead letter."
"In no way does his administrative order supersede Judge Granade's federal injunction prohibiting probate judges from enforcing discriminatory Alabama marriage laws.
"If probate judges violate the injunction, they can be held in contempt. This is Moore yet again confusing his role as chief justice with his personal anti-LGBT agenda."
Americans United for Separation of Church and State called Moore's order a "pathetic gesture that is doomed to fail."
"I have a news flash for Roy Moore: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld marriage equality in June and the decision extends nationwide," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "All Alabama probate judges remain bound by a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples."