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Federal Judge Orders Mobile County Official To Stop Denying Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Mobile County is the largest county in Alabama that is not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [Update: Mobile County is complying with the order.]

Originally posted on
Updated on

WASHINGTON — The federal judge who earlier struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex couples' marriages on Thursday extended her order to Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, who has refused to marry same-sex couples in the county.

U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade, who held a hearing on the matter Thursday afternoon, issued the order a few hours later.

"Probate Judge Don Davis is hereby ENJOINED from refusing to issue marriage licenses to plaintiffs due to the Alabama laws which prohibit same-sex marriage," Granade wrote.

In introducing the declaration that the marriage amendment and statute barring same-sex couples' marriages are unconstitutional, Granade noted that the court was "once again" making the declaration.

"If Plaintiffs take all steps that are required in the normal course of business as a prerequisite to issuing a marriage license to opposite-sex couples, Judge Davis may not deny them a license on the ground that Plaintiffs constitute same-sex couples or because it is prohibited by the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act or by any other Alabama law or Order pertaining to same-sex marriage," Granade wrote.

Mobile County was the only of the four largest counties in the state not to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples after Granade's initial orders went into effect on Monday morning, Feb. 9.

The county is complying with the order:

At 4:06 pm Feb. 12, 2015, gay marriage is happening in Mobile, Al. #ALmarriage

Casey Toner@ctonerFollow

At 4:06 pm Feb. 12, 2015, gay marriage is happening in Mobile, Al. #ALmarriage

5:10 PM - 12 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.

Contact Chris Geidner at chris.geidner@buzzfeed.com.

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