MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Just four days after Alabama probate judges started issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, the state’s highest judge says problems caused have been small.
“I don’t know of any problem that’s been caused, except in the probate courts,” said Moore. WIAT 42 News talked with the Chief Justice at is his office in Montgomery.
All 68 probate judges in the state are interpreting Judge Callie Granade’s ruling on their own. Some have refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on religious beliefs. When I asked Judge Moore about the separation of church and state, he believes it is mostly misunderstood.
“It doesn’t mean to separate God from government. Especially in the United States of America, you cannot separate God from government,” said Moore. He believes the Declaration of Independence explains why.
“You see that your rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness come from God,” explained Moore.
Whether or not a probate judge issues a license to a same sex couple is solely up to the judge.
“If those licenses are forbidden by state law, then they must make a decision. Is it constitutional according to their understanding of the federal constitution?” asked Moore.
I was in the middle of interviewing the judge when Thursday’s ruling from Judge Granade came down. Judge Moore told me he was not surprised by Granade, given her past rulings, and that he would be looking into dealing with that ruling shortly.
I asked Moore if he believed Alabama was heading toward recognizing gay marriage before this federal ruling.
“We’re only heading that way because the constitution and laws of some 21 states have been overturned by some 44 federal judges in the last couple of years. If you think we’re heading that way because the people change, that’s not true,” said Moore. I asked if he thought people were changing their stance on gay marriage. The judge said there might be some population change, but that people weren’t changing as much as you think.
Judge Moore also told me he doesn’t believe the rights of gay people are civil rights. He said everyone is free to get married in Alabama; it just has to be between a man and a woman.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News