Parts Of Alabama So Confused By Gay Marriage Rulings They Just Put A Stop To ALL Marriage

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happy-marriageAlabama marriage officials find themselves in a very confusing position right now, because a federal court declared the state’s marriage ban unconstitutional, but then the Alabama Supreme Court declared that the gay marriage ban was still just great and legal, and now all the probate judges are like, “Wait, who do we listen to?”

According to the Associated Press, on Tuesday the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s gay marriage ban was legal, and thus would remain in place until a ruling comes down from the U.S. Supreme Court. But the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling directly contradicts a previous ruling from the U.S. District Court that said the gay marriage ban was unconstitutional and ordered probate judges to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Now it is unclear which ruling takes precedence, so the judges who are supposed to be issuing marriage licenses have no idea whether or not same sex marriage is currently legal in their state or not.

One probate office gave up trying to figure out what was going on and just threw in the towel and decided to stop issuing marriage licenses altogether until someone can come tell them what to do.

“We regret having to take this action, but feel that it is necessary given the unprecedented circumstances that currently exist,”  the Mobile probate court said in an announcement on its website today.

Of course, some marriage equality opponents are trumpeting this bureaucratic clusterfuck as a victory for the children. Because really, won’t someone think of the children?

Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen, for example, expressed his joy over the Alabama Supreme Court’s new ruling and said he was “saddened for my nation that the word ‘marriage’ has been hijacked by couples who cannot procreate.”

One assumes this means anyone planning on marrying in Elmore County had best show up with documented evidence of fertility, no hysterectomies or low sperm counts allowed. And don’t try sneaking one of those cute “old people” weddings through, either. Grandma had her chance at happiness when she was fertile.

The Alabama Supreme Court reportedly insists the same-sex marriage ban is not discriminatory “because it bans both men and women from marrying people of the same sex.”

I’m having trouble finding an appropriately disgusted reaction GIF for that statement. But meanwhile the Alabama Citizens Action Program and the Alabama Policy Institute said they had asked for this ruling on the grounds that they were “concerned about the family and the danger that same-sex marriage will have.”

I will never understand that logic. I’m concerned about my family, and a big part of what I worry about is my daughter growing up in a world where people are denied the same legal rights and access to marriage because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

In the meantime, Alabama probate judges are apparently still not sure what they are supposed to be doing.

“It’s very frustrating. I had done made up my mind we were going to issue the licenses and I thought that was it,” said Judge Leon Archer, a probate judge in a rural county that has stopped issuing the same-sex licenses but is still issuing licenses to heterosexual couples. “And I think that is going to be the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in June.”

God, I really hope so.

Photo: Shutterstock