Federal judge orders Mobile County to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples

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Photo: MGN Online

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – A federal judge in Alabama has ordered Mobile County to start issuing gay marriage licenses.  U.S. District Judge Callie Granade made the ruling after a brief hearing Thursday.

Granade overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage last month and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop gay marriages from beginning Monday.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an 11th hour order telling probate judges in the state they didn’t have to hand out licenses, causing confusion. Many probate judges, including the one in Mobile County, refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Some judges wouldn’t give out licenses to anyone, including heterosexual couples.

Hundreds of gay couples have wed in Alabama this week, the 37th state to allow same-sex marriages.

Continued opposition by Alabama Chief Justice

Chief Justice Moore spoke with CNN on Thursday morning.

"I think that gay marriage is an alteration of the definition of marriage and the United States Supreme Court does not have the authority or the Federal Courts do not have the authority to interpret a word that disputes the Constitution," said Moore.

Moore and other state leaders opposed to gay marriage want the unions to stop until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews the matter later this year.  He said Judge Granade's opinion is just that.

"In this case the Federal District Court cannot be extended to the state courts because it's an opinion on her law, if it was a law, the United States Supreme Court wouldn't be meeting would they? It's her opinion, it's her opinion. Her opinion is not a law," Moore said.

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