COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - All of the probate judges in North Alabama counties have begun to issue marriage licenses to all couples, gay and straight. Many had shut their doors after a Supreme Court ruling earlier this week.
Lauderdale County and Colbert County made the announcement today after a federal judge ruled Wednesday morning that all counties must abide by court decisions allowing same-sex unions.
U.S. District Judge Callie Granade of Mobile issued a brief order saying state probate judges can't discriminate against gay couples since the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled gay marriage is legal everywhere.
That being said, Lauderdale County Probate Judge Will Matlow issued this statement and reopened Wednesday:
"After reviewing today’s order from the Federal District Court, I have made the decision to begin issuing marriage licenses, but I will not be performing any ceremonies. I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges and I continue to believe in traditional marriage. However, I took an oath to follow the law. That is what I have been doing, am doing now, and will continue to do as the Probate Judge of Lauderdale County."
In Colbert County, Judge Daniel Rosser sent a request to the Attorney General Monday to determine if he can stop issuing marriage licenses to anyone, permanently.
He released this statement Wednesday:
"Despite my personal beliefs, as a defendant under the jurisdiction of the Federal Court, I am compelled to fully reopen the Colbert County marriage license office at this time. I continue to await an Attorney General's opinion on this matter."
Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore said he reopened the marriage license office Tuesday afternoon.