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Current Page: Politics | Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Alabama Residents Should Refuse Federal Court Order Allowing Gay Marriage, Traditional Marriage Group Urges

Alabama Residents Should Refuse Federal Court Order Allowing Gay Marriage, Traditional Marriage Group Urges

Protestors opposed to same-sex marriage carry signs outside the Federal Court House in Michigan where plaintiffs April Deboer and her same-sex partner Jayne Rowse managed to overturn Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage in Detroit, Michigan in a ruling on Friday March 21, 2014. A temporary stay was granted on Saturday. | (Photo: Reuters/Rebecca Cook)

A traditional marriage group urged the residents of Alabama to oppose the legalization of gay marriage in that state following a ruling from a federal judge.

Last month U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade ruled the state's ban on gay marriage, passed with over 80 percent of the vote in 2006, unconstitutional.

The National Organization for Marriage denounced Alabama's issuing of marriage licenses to gay couples on Monday.

In a statement, NOM President Brian Brown said that Judge Granade does not have the authority to strike down the constitutional amendment.

"A single federal judge does not have the authority to overturn a state marriage amendment and the people of Alabama should refuse to go along with this order," stated Brown.

"The issues in play are currently under review by the Supreme Court, and allowing a lower court ruling that overturns a state marriage amendment adopted by over 80% of voters is reckless and undermines the integrity of the Court."

Brown also asked that "the people of Alabama continue to enforce their state marriage laws."

"We commend Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore for ordering state probate judges, who are responsible for issuing marriage licenses, to enforce state law limiting marriage to one man and one woman and to refuse to issue licenses that violate state law," continued Brown.

In January, Granade ruled that Alabama's marriage amendment was unconstitutional and granted a two week stay on the ruling pending an appeal by the state government.

Alabama attempted to get the Supreme Court to intervene and grant a stay. However, on Monday morning the Court decided 7-2 to not grant the request, allowing the gay marriages to go forth.

An aura of confusion has clouded the proceedings for the probate judges of Alabama, as state Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order Sunday evening demanding the continued enforcement of the state's ban.

"The state of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued," ordered Moore.

Confusion over the conflicting orders has meant that while some probate judges in the state have gone ahead and issued marriage licenses to gay couples, others have refused to do so.

With the Supreme Court's denial of a stay for the Granade decision, Alabama became the 37th state in the country to legally recognize same-sex marriage.

The vast majority of these 37 states came via judicial action and most since the 2013 Supreme Court decision striking down one part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Regarding the recent refusal by the highest court in the nation to stop gay marriages in Alabama, some have speculated that this shows what will happen later this year when the Supreme Court determines the constitutionality of state level bans.

"They also effectively admitted what court-watchers have suspected for months: The court is preparing to rule in favor of nationwide marriage equality at the end of this term," wrote Mark Joseph Stern of Slate.com.

"By permitting these marriages to occur, the justices have effectively tipped their hand, revealing that any lower court's pro-gay ruling will soon be affirmed by the high court itself."

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