Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Directs Enforcement Of Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

Alabama's chief justice on Wednesday directed probate judges in the state to enforce the state's ban on same-sex marriage, seven months after a landmark Supreme Court ruling legalized gay and lesbian nuptials nationwide.

"Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect," Roy Moore wrote in an administrative order.

Moore points out that the Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, was targeted at Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee and that the U.S. Supreme Court did not specifically address the Alabama ban. 

In Wednesday's order -- which is not an opinion of Alabama's Supreme Court, but rather issued in Moore's capacity as the head of the Alabama judicial branch -- Moore said that three days after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage nationwide, his court invited parties to "address the effect of the Supreme Court's decision" on the state.

He said the Alabama Supreme Court is still deliberating about the effect of Obergefell and he pointed out that some probate judges, who issue marriage licenses, have asked for guidance. "Confusion and uncertainty exist among the probate judges of this state as to the effect of Obergefell-On on the 'existing orders,'" he wrote. A CNN report.