In an action which will no doubt make LGBT activists clamour even harder for the Supreme Court of the United States to speed up their hearings on same-sex marriage cases, the Alabama Supreme Court has ordered a halt to all same-sex marriages in the 48 county probate offices which had previously issued licences to same-sex couples.
A 134-page ruling released on Tuesday just added to the increasingly muddled and bizarre legal situation in Alabama since the state began allowing same-sex marriages on 9 February of this year.
The order to halt all same-sex marriages comes as a defiant rebuttal to U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade, the judge who had ruled in favour of marriage equality and struck down the ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The new ruling from the State Supreme Court has found 7 to 1 that the previous ban on same-sex marriage was, in fact, constitutional.
Laurence H. Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard was quoted as saying, ‘This is thumbing the nose of the Alabama Supreme Court at the U.S. Supreme Court, but it’s not directly defying it. It’s coming as close to contemptuous defiance as it could possibly come without actually leaping directly into the pit.’
There is still some speculation as to whether or not the same-sex marriages previously performed in Alabama will remain legal.