An Alabama probate judge has asked the
state's Supreme Court to order judges to stop issuing marriage
licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen
argues in his petition to the court that the task of issuing marriage
licenses to gay couples should be shifted to the federal government.
“Born solely from a strained
interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, the new same-sex marriage
license is a child of the federal government, not the State of
Alabama,” Enslen says in his filing.
The Supreme Court in June struck down
gay marriage bans in all 50 states.
Enslen also asks that Alabama's highest
court refuse to recognize marriage licenses issued to gay couples
from states that have not legislatively approved such unions on their
Nine Alabama counties, including
Elmore, are using a segregation-era state law to avoid issuing
marriage licenses to gay couples. The law states that probate courts
“may” issue marriage licenses. Lawmakers in 1961 altered the
language to make it optional for counties to issue such licenses.
Susan Watson, executive director of
ACLU-Alabama, told the AP that the lawsuit boils down to an Alabama
mindset of not wanting “to do what the federal government tells
them to do.”
“They would really be hard pressed to
come out and say that Alabama isn't bound by the Supreme Court
decision,” she said.
Supreme Court justice Tom Parker: State courts should resist gay