Thursday, February 12, 2015

U.S. Judge Orders Alabama Judge to Issue Marriage Licenses- NY Times

U.S. Orders Alabama To License Gay Unions -
by Campbell Robertson

MOBILE, Ala. — A federal judge here ruled on Thursday that the local probate judge cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, potentially adding some clarity to a judicial quarrel that has roiled Alabama for most of a week.

The order by Judge Callie V. S. Granade of Federal District Court came after a brief hearing and prompted cheers and crying in the halls of the probate court here, where several couples obtained licenses and were married before the license office closed.
In a relatively straightforward order, Judge Granade restated her finding that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and concluded that if the couples before her “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.”

Judge Davis almost immediately began issuing licenses to same-sex couples, but it was unclear whether other probate judges would follow suit. As of noon on Thursday, judges in 23 Alabama counties were issuing licenses to all couples, in 18 counties to straight couples only and in 26 to no couples at all, according to a tally kept by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group

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