Judge clarifies ruling to allow same-sex marriage in Alabama

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — Probate judges can and should issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples starting Feb. 9. This is the latest clarification from federal judge Callie Granade on her ruling that overturned Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban last Friday.

WIAT 42 spoke with gay rights supporters and local judges who will be taxed with implementing the new laws. Granade’s clarification, released today, says this case is similar to another case out of Florida. and she says both show a federal judges ruling is enough to overturn state bans on gay marriage.

However this controversial ruling is only three days into a 14-day stay. But it’s still making waves. Enough so that it required a clarification today that reiterated Granade found Alabama’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional and judges will have to issue licenses starting Feb. 9.

“I would expect some people to resist,” says State Representative Patricia Todd of District 54. “But it’s really clear now from the court that everybody has to comply with it. And they’ll have time to sort of get their forms or whatever they need to do, in order to handle the volume that’s going to come in, probably at the end of that 14 days.”

And that’s exactly what the state is doing. The Probate Judges Association is currently working with the Department of Health to redo the marriage license application so it will apply to all couples come February.

“We’re judges. We’re elected by the people. We take an oath to follow the law and whatever that law may be,” says Probate Judge Alan King. “And some people may not like the law or any law, but it’s our duty to enforce it.”

But Judge Roy Moore, who was once ousted for refusing to remove a monument of the ten commandments from a state building, argued this ruling was an infringement upon marriage and is encouraging all Probate Judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Todd says she’s not surprised at the resistance.

“I know change is hard,” says Todd. “Any major social change always comes with some resistance. That’s to be expected.”

Attorney General Luther Strange has appealed Granades decision. We reached out to his office to get their reaction to this clarification. They have no statement at this time.

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