The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Two federal rulings striking down Alabama's ban on gay marriage took effect on Monday, February 9.

Most judges initially followed an order issued by state Chief Justice Roy S. Moore and either refused to issue such licenses or suspended issuing all marriage licenses. Moore, a vocal opponent of marriage equality, argued that federal district court's opinions “do not bind the state courts of Alabama but only serve as persuasive authority.”

Most judges fell in line after the same federal judge ordered Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Conservative groups the Alabama Policy Institute and the Alabama Citizens Action Program requested the order last month.

“As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for 'marriage' between only one man and one woman,” the court's 148-page ruling states. “Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage licenses contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”

Judges now have five days to submit arguments stating why they should be allowed to continue issuing such licenses.

Moore is not listed on the order.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, called the development “troubling.”

“This deeply troubling development illustrates exactly why the US Supreme Court must rule swiftly to ensure that same-sex couples in all 50 states have the freedom to marry. The Alabama State Supreme Court ruling contradicts more than 65 pro-marriage rulings across the country. We are more determined than ever to protect the rights of families in Alabama. This fight is not over,” she said.