Skip to main content

KPBS Radio is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in temporary signal outages.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Tokyo Olympics

Federal Judge Orders Ala. Official To Issue Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples

A battle between Alabama and the federal judiciary just turned another page, when a federal judge on Thursday ordered a state official to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Reuters reports:

"U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade's order sought to clarify that Mobile County Probate Court Judge Don Davis should follow her directive, and not a contravening order from Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore that has led many state judges to refrain from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. "

As NPR's Debbie Elliott reported this morning, Moore's order threw Alabama into a state of confusion. Some counties heeded a federal court decision that found the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, while orders have listened to Moore's order, which told them they didn't have to abide by the federal court's decision.

"This power to define marriage is not given to the federal government," Moore explained in an interview with NPR. "It is reserved to the states and to the people, and it is simply an abuse of power to go into the Constitution and redefine a word which is not even in there."

In an eight-page order, Granade, the federal judge, states that a federal court has found that Alabama's ban on gay marriage violates the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and state officials — in this specific case, Probate Judge Don Davis — are tied to that decision and have to issue marriage licenses.

Ultimately, all of this will be decided by the Supreme Court, which has decided to weigh in on the constitutionality of gay marriage bans this term.

In his interview with Debbie, Moore conceded that point.

"[The Supreme Court] can mandate same-sex marriage, but they can't force a constitutional officer to disobey his oath by performing one," Moore said.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.