Alabama Judge Defies Roy Moore’s Gay Marriage Ban

An Alabama probate judge on Thursday defied state Chief Justice Roy Moore’s order to deny same-sex marriage licenses.

Tommy Ragland, the probate judge for Madison County, ordered his office to resume issuing licenses to all after briefly halting them Wednesday while he reviewed Moore’s order.

“Well after he reviewed that, and the county attorney did, we decided to continue,” Chief Clerk Patty Hanson told The Daily Beast. “The Supreme Court ruling [overturning state bans on same-sex marriage] still stands.”

Roy said Wednesday that state and federal courts had conflicting rulings on same-sex marriage, and claimed this caused “confusion” among probate judges. “I did give an order that they were to follow the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court,” Moore told the Montgomery Advertiser. “That’s simple, black letter law. The effect of Obergefell on those existing orders has to be determined by the Alabama Supreme Court.”

—Katie Zavadski