Alabama Supreme Court Halts Gay Marriage Again

The Alabama Supreme Court has chosen to halt gay marriage again. Confusion and turmoil have reigned the last month in local courts, where judges aren't sure whether they should follow the order of the Alabama Supreme Court or the federal courts.

The Alabama justices issued a defiant-sounding statement in response to their decision.

"As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for 'marriage' between only one man and one woman... Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty."
According to the Washington Post, Chief Justice Roy Moore told probate judges in Alabama not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the day gay marriage was to become legal in the state. Moore has been the most outspoken opponent of gay marriage.

John Enslen, a probate judge in Alabama who also opposes gay marriage, thinks gay marriage is "bad public policy, plain and simple, and detrimental to the welfare of our nation." He does, however, believe the U.S. Supreme Court will end up ruling in favor of gay marriage and sent out the following statement to the media.

"Until the 'one Supreme Court' issues a final ruling on a matter where state and lower federal courts disagree, the state rulings are equal to the federal rulings. It makes me wonder why some states caved so quickly to lower federal court rulings in the absence of a ruling from the United States Supreme Court."
George Takei, best known as Sulu from Star Trek and an advocate for gay rights, wrote on Facebook, "I'm going to say it. Alabama is really starting to p**s me off."

Mr. Takei then came up with a creative way to get his point across by posting a photo of him and his partner, Brad Takei, giving Alabama "the finger" by showing off their wedding rings with the hashtag #LuvUAlabama. The couple encouraged everyone in support of gay marriage to post their own photos do so using the hashtag, and photos quickly began appearing on Facebook and Twitter in mutual support.

What will happen next? The standoff seems likely to continue until the nation's highest court makes a ruling, but that isn't expected to happen for months. Until then, it's going to be murky for gay marriage in the state of Alabama.

[Photo by Matthew Teague/L.A. Times]