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Some Alabama Probate Judges Refuse To Issue Marriage Licenses To Anyone

| by Michael Allen

Some probate judges in Alabama are refusing to marry anyone because of last Friday's ruling by U.S. Supreme Court that legalized gay marriage.

Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen and other probate judges claim they can deny marriage licenses for everyone because Alabama Code section 30-1-9 says they "may," not must, issue marriage licenses, reports the Associated Press.

Allen claims that he is "not in violation of any Supreme Court order," and added, "We're just going to hold the course and not issue any marriage licenses."

Allen said he believes marriage "is one man, one woman."

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U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled today that probate judges issuing marriage licenses for heterosexual couples must also issue same-sex marriage licenses, notes the Associated Press in a separate report.

However, Granade's order doesn't cover those who are refusing all marriages.

Shannon Minter, of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, countered, "We will ask Judge Granade to hold them in contempt if they'd don't."

Minter said that seven of Alabama's 67 counties were giving marriage licenses to heterosexual couples, not homosexual couples, but that number was reduced after four counties gave in.

Granade previously overturned Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Seven Mississippi clerks, who previously refused to give gay marriage licenses, have reportedly agreed to do so after meeting with staff from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office.

In Louisiana, Red River Court Clerk Stuart Shaw stated in an email that he may not issue gay marriage licenses because of his Christian beliefs, but is waiting to hear back from a federal appeals court.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court trumps the federal appeals court.

Sources: Associated Press 1, Associated Press 2
Image Credit: ErgoSum88