Roy Moore, the controversial Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, introduced chaos into plans for same-sex marriages to begin in the state on Monday when he ordered judges not to issue licenses to the couples. A federal judge’s order making Alabama the 37th state with same-sex marriage was to take effect Monday. Al.com called gay marriage in Alabama “one of the most consequential civil rights developments to take place in the state in decades.” Some were comparing Moore’s directive to Gov. George Wallace’s stand in the school house door to block integration in 1963.
Same-sex couples were showing up at courthouses in many Alabama cities Monday morning. One couple camped out at the courthouse in Montgomery so they could be the first same-sex couple to wed there. Some Alabama probate judges have said they plan to refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples while others say they will issue licenses but will no longer perform wedding ceremonies of any kind. A few have said they will perform ceremonies for all couples. Reports were mixed from across the state as probate doors opened. Jefferson County was issuing licenses. Others were not.