Local groups react to Alabama Supreme Court decision to halt same sex-marriages

Local groups react to Alabama Supreme Court decision to halt same sex-marriages

(WTVM)- The all-republican court sided with a pair of conservative organizations Tuesday, March 3, in ruling that the United States constitution doesn't alter the judges' duty to administer state law.

"I was very disappointed when I heard about the ruling," says Auburn University student, Will Youngblood.

Youngblood says he has a lot of mixed emotions after hearing the Alabama Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to order probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Youngblood is a part of the organizations Spectrum: AU's Gay-Straight Alliance on campus that serves as a support group for people apart of the LGBT community.

"The topic has definitely come up during meetings. I think a lot of people were just shocked when the intial ruling came down and then we kind of celebrated and no we're going to be mourning again, but not really because we know this isn't the end of the fight," explains Youngblood.

The court says Alabama has defined marriage as between only one man and one woman for about 200 years.

In a lengthy order, The Alabama Supreme Court agreed seven to one that the state's ban on gay marriage is still legal, despite a recent federal court ruling declaring it unconstitutional.

"The state court has equal authority with the federal court to interpret Federal questions. There are two tracks to the United States Supreme Court. One is through the state system, one is through the federal system and so many people have been mislead to believe that whatever the federal court says is the law of the state," explains Alabama Chief Justice, Roy Moore.

Those in support of same sex marriage are being told not to give up hope.

Equality Alabama is encouraging gay couples to still request marriage licenses and once there request is denied to sue in federal court.

"We do anticipate that there will be a significant amount of litigation. This has opened up the door for that," explains Ben Cooper, Chair of Equality Alabama.

"It is just a constant tug of war and I think it's exhausting for people on all sides of the argument. I think all of us just want some type of closure already," says Youngblood.

Before Tuesday's ruling, 48 of the state's 67 counties were acknowledging that Alabama had become the 37th U.S. state where gay couples can legally wed according to the human rights campaign.

By Wednesday afternoon, the group couldn't find any county issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

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