Monday was supposed to mark the end of a 14-day stay issued by U.S. Judge Ginny Granade, that temporarily held off her Jan. 23 ruling outlawing a longstanding ban on same-sex marriages in Alabama.
However, windows remain closed at the Mobile County Probate Courthouse, where same-sex couples have been waiting all morning and some even into the afternoon to obtain marriage licenses.
A little after 2 p.m., Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis issued a press release stating the marriage office will be closed pending further instruction from higher courts.
The full release from Davis reads:
“In light of the conflicting orders being issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama and the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court I have, on advice of counsel, taken the following actions today:
1. ordered that the Marriage License Section of the Court’s Recording Division remain closed pending further instructions from the courts cited above; and
2. authorized attorneys for the Court to file an action with the Alabama Supreme Court seeking guidance and clarification as to the application of the “Administrative Order” issued by the Chief Justice both generally speaking and also more specifically in light of the action early this morning by the United States Supreme Court and the Motion for Contempt filed by the plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court action styled Searcy v. Strange, (the Probate Court is not a party to any action currently pending before any court related to these issues)
I remain committed to properly applying the law in all judicial and ministerial actions of the Probate Court, but we are dealing with unprecedented conflicts of law between the federal and state courts and I must be certain that any action I take is fully compliant with the law, both the United States Constitution, as well as the Constitution and statutes of the State of Alabama.”