The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM) and the Family Research Council (FRC) on Wednesday applauded an
Alabama Supreme Court ruling ordering judges to stop issuing marriage
licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Two conservative groups, the Alabama
Policy Institute and the Alabama Citizens Action Program, turned to
the state's highest court after a federal judge struck down the
state's ban on gay marriage last month.
In its 148-page ruling, the court
concluded that “probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue
any marriage license contrary to” state law.
Supreme Court orders judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay
According to the Human Rights Campaign
(HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, none of Alabama's
67 counties were issuing such licenses on Wednesday.
“We praise the justices of the
Alabama Supreme Court who have ruled in overwhelming fashion that the
laws of Alabama defining marriage as the union of one man and one
woman must be followed by state officials,” NOM President Brian
Brown said in a blog post. “A single federal judge does not have
the authority to force a state to redefine marriage and it's high
time that out of control judges were put in their place. We call on
other states to similarly order their state's officials to enforce
state marriage laws.”
FRC President Tony Perkins called the
“I applaud the Alabama Justices in
their wise decision respecting the freedom of Alabama’s voters to
uphold natural marriage,” Perkins said in an emailed statement.
“In a refreshing change, Alabama's Supreme Court is using the law
to determine their actions – not a politically motivated opinion of
a lower court federal judge.”
“[T]he Alabama Supreme Court reflects
where the American people really are on the issue – and it is
respecting the freedom of the voters to uphold natural marriage,”
University of Alabama law professor
Ronald Krotoszynski told the AP that while Alabama's highest court
has the authority to undermine a federal judge's ruling, it was an
“Does the [Alabama] court have the
power to do this? Yes,” he said. “Was it wise for the court to
exercise its power this way? I'd say no. … This is just not a
standard kind of move in the inter-relationship between state and