Alabama chief justice issues order banning same-sex marriage
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Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday issued an administrative order prohibiting lower-court judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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In his ruling, Moore argued that the landmark Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges last year only applies to the states petitioned in the case: Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

“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 licenses contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect,” Moore wrote.

He wrote that a pending case before the Supreme Court must be decided before it is clear whether the reasoning in Obergefell applies to Alabama.

Moore issued a similar order last year after a federal court on Feb. 9 struck down Alabama’s marriage laws as unconstitutional.

Immediately after the ruling, Moore told probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The order caused widespread confusion, prompting some judges to decline to issue marriage licenses at all until a formal decision was issued.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Obergefell said the 14th Amendment guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry.