An Autauga County woman is facing a disorderly conduct charge after offering to perform a same-sex wedding inside a courthouse. Sheriff Joe Sedinger says the woman was arrested Tuesday in the probate office. Sedinger says a dispute occurred between Probate Judge Alfred Booth and Anne Susan Diprizio of Prattville after two women obtained a marriage license. The sheriff says Diprizio identified herself as a minister and offered to marry the women. But Booth is not allowing marriage ceremonies in his office since gay marriage became legal on Monday. Diprizio is free on $1,000 bail.
More counties in Alabama began issuing same-sex marriage licenses Tuesday. Another ten probate courts joined those following a federal judge's order that found the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The confusion stems from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's declaration that probate judges shouldn't give out the licenses to gay couples. Governor Bentley reiterated his stance Tuesday that he will allow probate judges to make their own decisions. Bentley also said he doesn't want the state to be seen as it was 50 years ago when a federal law was defied.
Governor Robert Bentley says he doesn't want to see his state as it was 50 years ago when another federal law, the Voting Rights Act, was defied. Alabama is now the 37th state where gays can legally wed, but the state's Chief Justice, Roy Moore, told probate judges to defy a federal ruling that struck down the gay marriage ban. Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed said he decided to follow the federal court order. At least seven of Alabama's 67 counties issued marriage licenses to gay couples.
Same-sex marriages went on in Alabama Monday despite Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's instructions to probate judges in the state to ignore the federal ruling allowing for such unions. Judge Moore has contended that a U.S. district court judge's decision isn't binding. Many probate judges followed Moore's orders, while a few abided by the federal ruling. Adjunct professor of Political Science at Alabama State University Dr. D'Linell Finley says even though they are elected officials, probate judges will have to follow the rule of law.
Alabama is set to become the 37th state where gays can legally wed. But in an 11th hour attempt to put such weddings on hold, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore sent a letter to probate judges Sunday evening ordering them to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Moore is telling the probate judges they are not bound by a Mobile federal judge's ruling last month that overturned the state's ban on gay marriage.
Alabama State University celebrated 148 years of educational excellence Friday with its Founders' Day Convocation. Civil Rights Attorney Fred Gray, a 1951 graduate of ASU was the keynote speaker. Gray challenged ASU students to make a positive impact on society. The convocation's theme was "Onward and Upward, Opportunity is Here."
The Alabama Department of Public Health has designed new marriage license forms to accommodate same-sex weddings that are expected to begin Monday. The form has two spaces that read spouse and spouse, instead of bride and groom. A federal judge last month overturned Alabama's gay marriage ban. Same-sex weddings are expected to begin Monday unless the U.S. Supreme Court grants Alabama's request to put the ruling on hold.
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People in favor and opposed to gay marriages are watching what will happen next as the back and forth legal wrangling continues in the aftermath of a Mobile federal judge's ruling that stuck down Alabama's ban on same sex marriage. Attorney General Luther Strange with support from Governor Robert Bentley has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and block the ruling from going into effect on Monday. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore remains defiant and has told county probate judges they are not required to issue wedding licenses to gay couples.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the state to continue to block same-sex marriages until the high court issues a ruling on gay marriage later this year. The district judge's hold on her order expires Feb. 9th. Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed says despite the filing by Strange, gay couples will be able to marry at county courthouse. Alabama is set to become the 37th state to allow gay couples to legally wed.