On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to stop a federal court ruling that requires Alabama state officials to recognize same-sex marriage rights, and, despite some objections, the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The order issued by the Supreme Court says it turned down an application to stay the decisions by the lower court in order to wait for justices to figure out among themselves whether the Constitution allows same-sex marriage.
This action came only hours after Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered the state’s probate judges to not give any marriage licences to same-sex couples. Last month, District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade moved last month to call Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. About 81 percent of Alabama voters in 2006 supported an amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.
Despite Moore’s order, Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, some of which had been waiting in line for hours. One couple, Dee and Laura Bush, have been together for seven years and have five kids together.
“It is great that we were able to be part of history,” Dee Bush told the Associated Press. She and Laura received their license, then walked over to a park where a minister was performing wedding ceremonies.
Alabama is now the 37th state to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court announced it would tackle the issue of same-sex marriage on a federal level. The Court will begin hearing arguments in late April, with a decision expected before the term’s end, which is in June.
Media Resources: Associated Press 2/9/15; Politico 2/9/15; The New York Times 2/8/15; Autostraddle 2/9/15