Alabama Chief Justice, Roy Moore, has made it clear that he will not be standing down in his effort to defend the constitution. This Wednesday he issued an administrative order statewide that declares: “Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”
The U.S Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in America last year, but this has caused “conflicting orders” between the Alabama Supreme Court and U.S Supreme Court. The Alabama Supreme Court had settled a previous ruling in March of 2015, which stated that the banning of same-sex marriage in the state did not violate gay and lesbian rights. Since this natural marriage amendment remains as the law, Judge Moore is not disobeying the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell. This ruling does not apply to Alabama because the Court has never ruled specifically on this Alabama amendment.
“In that opinion, they issued a final injunction, a permanent order not to issue marriage licenses contradictory to the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, and the Marriage Protection Act. That order is still in effect. It’s still in effect according to the Alabama Supreme Court that asked the parties to address the effect of Obergefell of existing orders of the Supreme Court,” said Moore.
The Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which requires states to recognize and license same-marriage, contradicts the previous Alabama ruling. So, probate judges are having trouble determining how same-sex marriage court decisions should be made. “Many probate judges are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in accordance with Obergefell; others are issuing marriage licenses only to couples of the opposite gender or have ceased issuing all marriage licenses,” said Moore.
Not to mention, this amendment had overwhelming support from the state’s legislators. It passed in the state house 85-7 and in the Alabama State Senate 30-0. Moore is doing his civil duty to protect the constitution. As the 10th Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Stating that the federal government cannot oppose the law of the land.
Will this ignite the war between the federal government and the states? The same-sex marriage battle will only continue to brew in other states as well, as Moore has stated that Obergefell only overturned gay marriage bans in four states, including Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.