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Alabama Supreme Court

Alabama Probate Judges File Motions Against Same Sex Marriage Licenses

Faith and Freedom with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and BarbWire’s Matt Barber… An 11-minute weekday radio program discussing hot topics in the area of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family.

Some Alabama probate judges have now filed motions and memoranda with the Alabama Supreme Court on the issue of issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. They’re joining Liberty Counsel’s argument currently pending before that state’s highest court.

Mat Staver: Matt, just to give people a little bit of background to what’s going on here before we talk about the recent filings of the probate judges, this would be Judge Williams and also Judge Enslen. This case began when a federal district judge, down in the southern part of Alabama, said prior to the June 26 hearing, the ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, that the marriage laws in Alabama, which were passed by a margin of, I think, 82%, were unconstitutional. As a result of that, some probate judges began issuing same sex marriage licenses that were not part of that case, in other parts of Alabama.

So Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of two non-profit organizations, directly with the Alabama Supreme Court. And the Alabama Supreme Court took the case and they issued an opinion that said that the probate judges had no authority to issue licenses to same sex couples, and that put a stop to it.

Then you had the June 26 opinion, 5 -4 opinion of the five lawyers from the US Supreme Court on marriage. And then the Alabama Supreme Court asked for additional briefing, which Liberty Counsel did complete the additional briefing. One of the judges that’s part of the case, is Judge Williams, and another judge, Judge Enslen is represented by the overall lawsuit. He’s not directly part of the case.

So we’ve already filed our responses, and Judge Williams recently filed his, and also Judge Enslen filed his as well. They filed it in light of what was happening in Kentucky with Kim Davis. Seeing how she had spent six days in jail for exercising her right of conscience, and they’re asking the Alabama Supreme Court to act to protect the probate judges in Alabama.

Matt Barber: Yea…Judge Nick Williams had some strong language here in the motion he filed last month in a memo with the court, the Alabama Supreme Court, arguing, “the Obergefell decision is wholly lacking in lawful Supreme Court authority,” because “the United States Constitution defines the powers of the federal government, and gives no branch of the federal government power to redefine marriage.”

“The Fourteenth Amendment never withdrew from the various states the authority to maintain Natural Marriage as an exclusively monogamous heterosexual institution.”

And what they need to realize here, these five radical change agents on the United States Supreme Court is that this matter is anything but settled…



 

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