Federal Court Orders Alabama Probate Judge to Start Issuing Marriage Licenses

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February 13, 2015

The federal judge who initially struck down Alabama’s discriminatory marriage ban, extended her order directing Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In yesterday's order, Judge Granade wrote:

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.

On Tuesday, Lambda Legal sent an open letter to the President of the Alabama Probate Judges Association and probate judges of counties that are not issuing licenses to same-sex couples urging them to disregard Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s legally incorrect and unfounded Administrative Order and instead issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and different-sex couples alike, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the state’s request for a stay. 

Greg Nevins, Counsel at Lambda Legal, said:

The law is clear — all Chief Justice Moore has done is create chaos, and his order is clearly out of bounds. The Supreme Court has entertained the state’s request for a stay and rejected it. Same-sex couples and different-sex couples all enjoy the fundamental right to marry, and probate judges should not be interfering with that right by refusing to issue marriage licenses to those constitutionally entitled to obtain them.

Lambda Legal continues to stand with loving same-sex couples in Alabama. Chief Justice Roy Moore should stand aside, and all probate judges should follow the law.

If you experience problems in accessing a marriage license in Alabama, please contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk.

Find out how you can join Lambda Legal’s fight for fair and impartial state courts.