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Supreme Court denies a halt on same-sex marriages in Alabama

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to halt same-sex marriages in Alabama, opening the floodgates for couples to marry in the state. After learning of the decision, several judges in Alabama have continued to refuse to issue licenses to same-sex married couples as a result of Alabama’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore instructing them to ignore the federal court ruling. Some judges defied Chief Justice Moore, and gay couples were issued marriage licenses from Jefferson, Birmingham and other counties.

Last month Moore threatened, he would defy the so-called “tyranny” of federal courts on the same-sex marriage issue. Moore is also known for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building. The Supreme Court will take up the issue of gay marriage later this year, and is likely to decide by this summer whether the constitutional guarantee of equal protection gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, told Associated Press she had heard of four counties where judges have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Liberty Counsel founder Mr. Staver announced on Monday that his organization would defend any judges that refuse to acknowledge the federal ruling.

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