Alabama Supreme Court Stops Same-Sex Marriages

The Alabama Supreme Court has ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
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Alabama Supreme Court Stops Same-Sex Marriages

The Alabama Supreme Court has ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The 148-page ruling reads, in part, "Alabama law allows for 'marriage' between only one man and one woman. Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law."

According to ABC, the state's probate judges "now have five days to file a letter stating why they should not be bound to the court's decision."

The ruling follows weeks of clashes between judges concerning same-sex marriage in the state. In January, a federal judge struck down Alabama's gay marriage ban, but some probate judges refused to abide by it.

Then, in February, the same federal judge reiterated her stance and ordered dissenting judges to comply with her ruling. 

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, then told probate judges they didn't have honor the federal order.

Moore argues that one federal judge shouldn't overrule the state's current law.

"One federal judge has come in and tried to force upon the state something which she cannot do. Her opinion is not law," Moore said

In 2006, more than 80 percent of Alabama voters approved a measure that banned same-sex marriage.

But, according to a WAFF poll, those views have shifted in recent years, with those residents surveyed nearly split on the issue.

The legal challenge to Alabama's same-sex marriage ban has gotten unusually heated, but the process has been messy in other states as well. 

Last year, Utah residents went back-and-forth in a similar fashion, with federal judges striking down a voter-approved ban. Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in that state. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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