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Court Mulls Ordering Alabama Judge to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

A federal judge in Alabama will hold a hearing to decide whether to order a probate judge in Mobile to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Robert Povilat, left, and Milton Persinger, comfort each other after hearing that for a second day, the Mobile County Probate office won't issue marriage licenses on Tuesday Feb. 10, 2015 in Mobile, Ala. A federal judge's ruling went into effect Monday overturning Alabama's ban on gay marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court refused the state's request to stop the marriages.Sharon Steinmann / AP

A federal judge in Alabama will hold a hearing this week on whether to order a Mobile County official to start granting same-sex marriage licenses. The legal fight is only the latest in the state's gay marriage saga, after some Alabama counties began allowing same-sex couples to tie the knot Monday.

But most counties, including Mobile — the state's second-most populous — are refusing to comply after Judge Callie Granade struck down Alabama's gay-marriage ban last month. Granade is set to preside over the federal district court hearing in Mobile at 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET) Thursday. Late on Monday night, lawyers for four same-sex couples had asked her to add Mobile County's probate judge, Don Davis, to one of the lawsuits that would force officials to issue licenses.

One of the legal groups representing the four couples, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said they were pleased Granade would weigh in. “There have been multiple court proceedings in the last few weeks, and the steady trend of those decisions indicates that we are moving quickly toward full marriage equality in Alabama,” legal director, Shannon Minter, said in a statement.


— Pete Williams and Miranda Leitsinger