HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - For some activists, it comes down to discrimination.
"It is internationally embarrassing," said James Robinson, executive director of Free 2 Be. "I thought, I am already tired of this, and it's only the beginning."
But the people behind a halt on same-sex marriage licenses say it's the rule of law.
"There are countless studies that confirm the fact that on any given topic or subject matter, children always do better when they have both a mom and a dad," said Harry Mihet, chief litigation counsel for the Liberty Counsel.
The organization represented two citizen groups that asked the Alabama Supreme Court to intervene. Mihet says the judges that issued licenses did it voluntarily, and this halt is simply the state's highest court reminding them of the law.
But for Robinson, whose organization advocates for marriage equality, the change us only a relief for the judges.
"I think some of the probate judges in Alabama were very happy for this because they were looking for an excuse," said Robinson. "I personally think the federal judges should have every one of these people arrested. Put them in contempt of court."
But he says there may be a small silver lining: suspect class.
It's a distinction for racial, religious, and other groups often subject to discrimination that offers federal protection.
The LGBTQ community is currently a step below racial and religious groups, and Robinson hopes that the halt -- while negative -- may change that.