Same-sex couples marry in Alabama after U.S. Supreme Court refuses stay

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LONDON,- Same-sex couples began marrying in Alabama on Monday, defying an attempt by the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court block probate judges from issuing [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]marriages licences to gays and lesbians.
A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday helped clear the way for Alabama become the 37th state to allow same-sex couples to marry.
A report from Alabama said the Justices refused a request by Alabama’s attorney general keep such marriages on hold until the court rules whether laws banning them are constitutional.
Dee Bush, 40, who received one of the first licences issued to same-sex couples in Birmingham, Alabama said “We wanted to be part of history,”.
. She and her partner of seven years, Laura Bush, quickly wed in a park outside the courthouse.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore had sought to throw up a last-minute roadblock for marriages between gay and lesbian couples.
Late Sunday, the socially conservative justice issued an order directing probate judges in his state not to hand out licencses to people of the same sex.
Judges were not bound by a federal ruling that last month struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriages.
Callie Granade, U.S. District Court Judge, ruled in January that Alabama’s prohibition on same-sex was unconstitutional but put her decision on hold until Monday.
Two of the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, dissented from the court’s decision not to further delay gay in Alabama.
Thomas said the court’s actions in allowing marriages to go ahead “may well be seen as a signal of the court’s intended resolution of that question.
In April, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in cases concerning restrictions in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
A ruling due by the end of June will determine if 13 state bans will remain intact.
There has already been a legal sea change, thanks in large part to the U.S. Supreme Court. It began in June 2013 when the court struck down a federal law that restricted, for the purpose of federal benefits, the definition of to heterosexual couples.
Judges around the country later seized on the language in the court decision, written by swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, to strike down a series of state bans.
At the time of the 2013 ruling, only 12 states had authorised gay marriage. (Reuters/NAN)