MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is opposing efforts by same-sex marriage supporters who want to update a federal lawsuit to class action status, a move that could force the state's 68 probate judges to grant marriage licenses to gay couples.
Strange is asking U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to deny the motion by plaintiffs in the case of Strawser and Humphrey v. Strange, saying the judge who struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage in January should wait because the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue in June.
The Attorney General says unnecessary chaos has been created in Alabama since Judge Granade's ruling on January 23 found the state's bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on the grounds they violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The attorney general states:
The Alabama Supreme Court advised probate judges not to follow the federal ruling shortly after attempts to appeal her stay, set to expire on February 9, failed at both the 11th Circuit and Supreme Court levels. Many of the state's probate judges moved forward anyway citing beliefs that the federal court ruling trumps the state. However, a 7-1 order by the State's high court on March 2 has effectively stopped the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in every county.