As a dispute between Alabama’s highest state judge and a federal judge continues over throwing out a same-sex marriage ban, faithful Catholics in the state are “sad” about the turn of events and “concerned about decay in society,” said a Church spokesman.
Father Douglas Vu, spokesman for the Diocese of Birmingham, said the Church is always guided by the principle of respect for every person, regardless of sexual orientation, but a necessity to oppose any legal efforts to legally redefine marriage.
Father Vu spoke with Aleteia as U.S. District Judge Callie Granade in Mobile ordered an Alabama probate judge to issue marriage licenses to any same-sex couple who asks for one. That probate judge was one of many who had stopped issuing marriage licenses, following an order by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Others ignored Moore’s order, which was issued in the wake of Granade’s earlier decision that Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection and due process.
That order overturned a state constitutional amendment that had been approved in 2006 by 81% of the voters.
Despite Moore’s orders, at least 50 of Alabama’s 67 counties decided by Friday to issue licenses to same-sex couples.
“It’s a sad day for the state of Alabama and the citizens of Alabama,” Father Vu said Friday. “We pray for our lawmakers that they make decisions that are good for the common good. We hope that they follow their conscience and follow divine law.”
He didn’t know if there would be any legal challenge to Granade’s orders from the two dioceses in the state.
John Burger is news editor for Aleteia’s English edition.