The Alabama Supreme Court ordered a halt Tuesday to same-sex marriages in the state despite a U.S. Supreme Court order allowing them to proceed. The ruling capped a wild month of confusion and resistance in Alabama following a January decision by a U.S. district court invalidating Alabama’s ban on gay marriage. The Alabama justices were defiant.
“As it has done for approximately two centuries,” the court said, “Alabama law allows for ‘marriage’ between only one man and one woman.” Alabama judges have a duty “not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”
The resistance in Alabama, where states’ rights has always been sacred writ and state supreme court justices are elected rather than appointed, has been compared by many to that state’s resistance to school desegregation orders in the 1963, when Gov. George Wallace (D) stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama to prevent the court-ordered enrollment of Black students.