Not-So-Sweet Home Alabama

Chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy S. Moore, who is very, very confused about how his own country's legal system works, has ordered judges in the state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Last February, Moore said Alabama probate courts are "not bound by any ruling of the Federal District Court" when it ruled Alabama's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Now, he insists he's just clarifying a few things, not defying the Federal Supreme Court's rulings.

The U.S. attorneys in Birmingham and Mobile disagree.

“Government officials are free to disagree with the law, but not to disobey it,” Joyce White Vance and Kenyen R. Brown said in a joint statement released Wednesday. “This issue has been decided by the highest court in the land, and Alabama must follow that law.”

Following the order, the Mobile probate court and several others announced it would cease to issue marriage licenses to anyone until further notice. They later announced offices would reopen Friday.

Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow called the order "shenanigans," which is worth a chuckle even under such infuriating circumstances.

"It’s about him and his personal beliefs at this point, rather than carrying out the rule of law," she said.

Meanwhile, same-sex couples who have been waiting for marriage licenses to become available to them are forced to keep waiting until the dust settles or search for a court that won't discriminate against them.

Either option falls woefully short of the equality guaranteed to them by, you know, the Constitution.

Photo credit: Butch Dill/AP

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