Alabama federal judge tells 'rebellious' magistrates they cannot ignore Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage

Ruling comes after months of back and forth between state and federal judges

Click to follow

The resistance against the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage has been dealt another blow after a federal judge in Alabama told magistrates there that can no longer refuse to issue licences to gay couples.

Alabama has been at the centre of controversy and back-and-forth between state and federal judges after Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, issued an order telling probate judges not to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Mr Moore argued same-sex marriage was “invalid” in Alabama, though a federal judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban in late January. NBC said that a number of Alabama counties continued refusing to comply even after Ms Granade’s ruling and at least one judge stopped issuing marriage licenses all together.

The order made on Wednesday morning from Judge Callie Granade was intended to resolve any lingering questions about what the officials are legally required to do.

“By the language set forth in the order, the preliminary injunction is now in effect and binding on all members of the Defendant Class,” she wrote in a brief one-page order.

The Montgomery Advertiser said state law does not require probate judges to issue marriage licenses and as a result probate judges in counties had stopped issuing them altogether.

Shannon Minter, a lawyer with the National Centre for Lesbian Rights, which represented plaintiffs in the case, said Wednesday they were “not to too concerned with those counties”.

“We're confident that is not going to be a long-term position,” she said.

“We think there is going to be public pressure to get marriage licenses where they live. That will result in a turnaround in those offices eventually.”