The law is the law; uphold it

Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2015

On Monday, the state of Alabama recognized the civil unions of several same-sex couples.

Throughout the culture-changing day, peaceful protests for and against the law that gives probate judges the right to issue same-sex marriage licenses, sprung up throughout the state.

Even in our backyard, concerned citizens raised their voices and posters objecting to the recent ruling. According to reports, there was one voice in favor of the ruling.

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Written on the posters were phrases like 81 percent of the state voted to recognize that marriage is between a man and a woman; shame on Butler County for not listening to voters; and Probate Judge Steve Norman does not support Butler County voters. We voted no, Steve.

It goes on and on.

In 2006, there was a constitutional amendment on a ballot that prohibited same-sex marriages to be performed or recognized.

At some point recently, a same-sex couple in Mobile County — who got married legally in California — filed a petition for an adoption.

When said couple filed the petition, the Mobile County probate judge denied the petition based on the law that was voted for in 2006.

The couple then filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Alabama and against the probate judge in Mobile County. At some point, the judge dismissed the lawsuit and his name was taken off of the suit.

Two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade ruled in favor of the same-sex couple from California, and ruled that the constitutional amendment the state passed in 2006 was unconstitutional.

After Granade’s ruling, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange filed a motion with the 11th Federal Circuit Court in Atlanta, requesting the judge give a two-week stay on the ruling. His request was denied, but filed another stay with the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Monday, the highest court of the land denied the request.

Norman said Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore sent an email to all probate judges Sunday night ordering them to not issue same sex licenses the following day.

Norman said there were a “substantial” amount of counties instate that took heed, and decided to not take action until they get clarification as to what the ruling means, adding that it’s unusual to make an order without a case.

“Subsequently, I think probably the majority of the counties decided (Monday) to not issue the licenses,” Norman said.

Since then, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley issued a statement saying he would not enforce Moore’s order.

“When we got that information, I decided that I needed to follow the federal court order, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.