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Justice Halts Alabama Gay Marriages

Just hours before same-sex weddings were set to begin in the heart of Dixie, Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore ordered the state’s probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. In the order, Moore instructed officials not to “issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with the state constitution or state law. Bibb County Probate Judge Jerry Pow said he would not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because “I don’t know whether I want to defy the chief justice of the state supreme court or a federal judge.” However, certain judges have refused to follow Moore’s orders and have begun issuing marriage licenses. As of 8:30 a.m. local time, marriages began in Jefferson County. (The U.S. Supreme Court also said it would not block gay marriages in Alabama.) This isn’t Moore’s first national act of defiance. Moore made headlines in the early 2000s with his refusal to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a judicial building, a fight he lost.