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AL Chief Justice says he will not use powers to reverse same-sex marriage ruling

Published: Jun. 27, 2015 at 2:54 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2015 at 2:54 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Chief Justice Roy Moore has made it known that he is against same-sex marriage, but now it appears that he's taking himself out of the fight.

Moore says he is saddened by the ruling on Friday by the United States Supreme Court.

"It is for redirected definition of family upon the whole country has been founded," Moore said.

Moore is hopeful it won't be the end of the road for this issue, but he won't use his own power to reverse this decision since he has already made his opinion clear on the matter. Moore won't be a part of any future rulings.

Earlier this year, Moore issued an administrative order prohibiting probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and he removed himself from the same-sex marriage case already before the Alabama Supreme Court.

"Of course my administrative order is supersized by the Alabama Supreme Court, and they have entered an order in the case and issued an injunction which binds the probate judges till they remove it now," Moore said.

Moore says the Alabama Supreme Court will have to address that injunction in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling, and until then Alabama probate judges cannot legally issue same sex marriage licenses.

There is a 25-day period in which a rehearing could occur in the case before the Supreme Court of the United States, but those re-hearings rarely happen. Moore says until that 25 day period is up, the order is not effective over Alabama's injunction.

Roy Moore's opponents say they're not so sure he will stay out of the fray. The Southern Poverty Law Center points to earlier remarks by the chief justice.

"The Chief Justice is already laying the groundwork to defy the federal court order," said Richard Cohen with the SPLC. "He said in an opinion today, a remarkable thing and that is that he is not bound to Supreme Court decisions with which he disagrees. I know of no judge at any level who would say something like that. I think the state, all of us should be a little concerned about having a Chief Justice who does not recognize that the Supreme Court has the final say on these issues."

The Foundation for Moral Law, which was founded by the chief justice and is now run by his wife, issued a statement today calling the supreme court's ruling, "Illegitimate, and the fight will continue."

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