Alabama Supreme Court orders halt to same-sex weddings with ‘no legal authority’

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The Alabama Supreme Court has issued an order directing probate judges to stop marrying gay couples – but legal experts say it is not enforceable.

A federal judge struck down Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban in January and declined to stay the ruling – allowing couples to marry in the state.

However, the state’s Supreme Court has now issued an order calling for marriages to halt.

Flying in the face of the federal ruling, the Alabama justices wrote: “Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”

Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director of the Human Rights Campaign, said: “This order is outrageous and baffling, and no amount of legalese can hide the bare animus that forms the foundation of this extralegal ruling.”

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry said: “The Alabama Supreme Court has done a disservice to itself, not to mention a massive injustice to the people of Alabama, in allowing itself to be used to temporarily obstruct the freedom to marry and the enforcement of the constitutions guarantees.

“This flouting of the Constitution and travesty of justice will not stand.”

Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore – who appears to have recused himself from the ruling – has become a paragon of the anti-gay movement for repeatedly flouting the original ruling, and even won praise from the Ku Klux Klan.

He recently bizarrely suggested that if two bisexuals or trans people wanted a marriage, it would have to involve four people.

He said: “You’re taking any definition of a family away.

“When two bisexuals or two transgendered marry, how large is that family?

“Can they marry two persons, one of the same sex and one of the opposite sex? Then, you’ve got a family of four or how many?”