You kids probably aren’t old enough to remember when Alabama Governor George Wallace stood in a schoolhouse doorway to prevent African-American students from entering, way back in 1963. But good news: now you don’t have to remember, because Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is re-enacting that standoff!
Marriage was supposed to start today in Alabama. But late Sunday night, Moore startled everyone by ordering the state’s judges to refuse to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples, in defiance of a federal order.
So what happens now? Nobody’s really sure. According to HRC and the Southern Poverty Law Center, Moore’s order has no authority and the marriages should go ahead as the federal court has explicitly ordered. But a bunch of judges have already said that they’re planning to refuse. They could be charged with contempt of court for doing so.
Moore was already kicked out of office once for violating a federal order, and now we’re probably going to see it happen again. But in the mean time, it’s anyone’s guess whether gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry without an escort of federal marshals.