Yesterday was a mess for same-sex couples in Alabama. Some were able to get marriage licenses and others had less to celebrate after 51 counties refused to issue marriage licenses when a state chief justice ordered county judges to deny the licenses. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said he was “disappointed” in a federal appeals court’s decision to allow the unions. Joe Baker and Russell Wilson headed to the Mobile, Alabama, courthouse to get a marriage license and found it closed. Baker said:
“We thought the windows were going to open at 8. They just [kept] delaying it and delaying it. No windows open. No marriage license. We waited 33 years for this… it’s a big disappointment.”
Instead of signing marriage licenses, Baker and Wilson found themselves in a law office to file new petitions with other gay couples. State Attorney General Luther Strange (yes, STRANGE!) asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay on the marriages but the Court decided NOT to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore then ordered county probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples:
“I think redefinition of the word ‘marriage’ is not found within the powers designated in the federal government. Do they stop with one man and one man or one woman and one woman? … Or do they go to multiple marriages or marriages between men and their daughters or women and their sons?”
Many judges started granting marriage licenses today and critics blasted Moore for his order. Susan Watson, the exec director of the ACLU of Alabama, called the Alabama chief justice’s actions “grandstanding.” and said his order had no authority over probate court judges and that they risked being sued if they followed his order. Watson said:
“I didn’t know how long it would take for [same-sex marriage] to happen here.”
Watson said the ACLU of Alabama had received more than 40 complaints, so far, from couples who had been turned away. Judge Moore said the US Supreme Court would decide on the matter but until then, he’d fight against gay marriage.
I know it’s not that easy to do, but honestly, if my state Governor and judges were SO against who I was, I think I’d make plans to move. But people stay and fight for their rights and as I’ve said before, it’s not a question of “if” but “when”… maybe as soon as this summer when the Supreme Court makes their ruling on the issue. (via Yahoo News)