MONTGOMERY, Ala. — While expressing reluctance and issuing sharp rebukes against the nation’s highest court, the Alabama Supreme Court on Friday unanimously dismissed pleas from family groups who requested that the court defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex “marriage.”
The Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program had filed requests with the court, as well as Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen, asking that it uphold the state’s ban on same-sex nuptials.
“It is ordered that all pending motions and petitions are dismissed,” the court wrote in its unanimous order, with separate concurring opinions being released by the justices.
“In light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which a 5-4 majority declared, without any constitutional basis, that same-sex applicants have a fundamental constitutional right to marriage, I concur in dismissing the ‘Motion for Clarification and Reaffirmation of the Court’s Orders Upholding and Enforcing Alabama’s Marriage Laws,’ wrote Justice Michael Bolin.
While surrendering to the decision, Bolin also noted, “I do not agree with the majority opinion in Obergefell; however, I do concede that its holding is binding authority on this Court.”
“As respectfully as I can, albeit reluctantly, I concur in dismissing the petitioners’ motions, and I further concur specially to note that the process of licensing of marriages in Alabama as we have known it may have been irreparably broken,” he wrote.
Justice Greg Shaw made similar comments.
“I concur with this court’s dismissal of the various post judgment motions and requests in this case that ask this court to enter an order defying the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v. Hodges,” he wrote. “A decision by this court cannot stop the issuance of federally mandated same-sex government-marriage licenses.”
He said that he believes it would bring “disrepute” on the court to defy the ruling.
“If a judge finds that he or she cannot abide by a controlling decision of a higher court, then that judge should resign from office. He or she should not indulge in the pretense that rebelling against a superior court’s decision is an accepted judicial response,” Shaw wrote. “Such conduct does not show respect for or comply with the law; it does not promote public confidence in the integrity or impartiality of the judiciary. Instead, I believe that defiance would bring the judicial office into disrepute.”
Chief Justice Roy Moore, also known as the “Ten Commandments Judge,” said that he went along with the dismissal of the cases since he said it did not invalidate the Alabama Supreme Court’s order last year halting the issuance of same-sex “marriage” licenses. However, he issued a lengthy rebuke against the U.S. Supreme Court, citing Scripture and historical case law.
“The Obergefell majority’s false definition of marriage arises, in great part, from its false definition of liberty,” Moore wrote. “Separating man from his Creator, the majority plunges the human soul into a wasteland of meaninglessness where every man defines his own anarchic reality.”
“In that godless world, nothing has meaning or consequence except as the human being desires. Man then becomes the creator of his own reality rather than a subject of the Creator of the Declaration,” he continued. “See Romans 1:25 identifying those “[w]ho changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator.”
Moore also pointed to Genesis 2:24, which declares, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” The instruction was repeated by Christ in Matthew 19:5, and again by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:31.
“In a world with God left out, the moral boundaries of Scripture disappear, and man’s corrupt desires are given full rein,” Moore lamented.