Alabama judge halts marriage licenses for all couples after same-sex ruling

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 04, 2015 11:08 AM

(Reuters) - An Alabama judge facing contradictory directives from a U.S. judge and the state's high court on whether to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples said on Wednesday that his office not issue licenses to anyone while it analyzes the conflict.

The announcement by Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis comes a day after the Alabama Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in a move underscoring the depth of opposition to gay matrimony in the socially conservative state. Davis was ordered last month by U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after his office had refused to do so in the wake of her ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban.

"We regret having to take this action but feel that it is necessary given the unprecedented circumstances that currently exist," a statement posted on the probate court's website said. "It is the court's intent to comply with all laws governing its operations and to not discriminate in any manner against any person."

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Bill Trott)