Ex parte Alabama ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute et al.Annotate this Case
The State sought emergency relief, and was granted that relief from the Alabama Supreme Court relating to the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The State, by and through the relators, contended that respondent Alabama probate judges were flouting a duty imposed upon them by Alabama's "Sanctity of Marriage Amendment" to its Constitution, and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act and that the Alabama Court should direct respondent probate judges to perform that duty. The circumstances giving rise to this action were the result of decisions and orders issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama "Searcy v. Strange," (Civil Action No. 14-0208-CG-N, Jan. 23, 2015)(S.D. Ala. 2015)), and "Strawser v. Strange," (Civil Action No. 14-0424-CG-C, Jan. 26, 2015)) and a subsequent order by that court, in each of those cases, refusing to extend a stay of its initial order pending an appeal. In "Searcy," the federal district court enjoined Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange from enforcing the Amendment and the Act. In "Strawser," the federal district court issued a preliminary injunction where a same-sex couple had been denied a marriage license in Mobile. "As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for 'marriage' between only one man and one woman. Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty."