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Supreme Court's Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Met With Resistance in Some States

by Elisha Fieldstadt /  / Updated 

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At least one judge in Alabama stopped issuing all marriage licenses Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide.

"It’s against my religion to marry homosexuals," Geneva County Probate Judge Fred Hamic told NBC News. He said Alabama law says marriage licenses "may be issued" by probate judges, and he has chosen to decline to do so.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, means 14 states that ban gay marriage must allow same-sex couples to marry.

President Barack Obama called the long-awaited decision a "victory for America."

Hamic cited his Christian beliefs in making the decision, and said the Bible prohibits homosexuality. He said he stopped issuing licenses to straight couples as well to avoid getting accused of discrimination. "When I quit, I quit all of them," he said.

Another Alabama probate judge, Wes Allen of Pike County, said his office stopped issuing marriage licenses in February and has no plans to resume. A federal court overturned Alabama's gay marriage ban in January. Allen said Friday that he was "saddened that the United States Supreme Court ruled as they did."

"The policy of my office regarding marriage is no different today than it was yesterday,” Allen said in a statement.

At least eight counties in Alabama were waiting to hand out licenses until they review the decision or speak with an attorney, according to NBC affiliate WAFF.

In Mississippi, those looking to get marriage licenses after the ruling were not yet able to. The state's attorney general, Jim Hood, said in a statement that a federal appeals court must lift a stay on a previous order before the Supreme Court decision becomes effective in Mississippi.

"The Office of the Attorney General is certainly not standing in the way of the Supreme Court’s decision. We simply want to inform our citizens of the procedure that takes effect after this ruling," Hood said in the statement.

Related: A Conservative Backlash To Court Rulings Is Coming. Bet On It.

Tiffany Brosh and Laurin Locke, a couple who applied for a marriage license near Jackson said they were disappointed but maintained a positive attitude on the historic day. "Good things come to those who wait," Brosh told The Associated Press.

Rep. Steven King a Republican who represents Iowa, said he wanted to apply Hamic's idea across the country.

"It's not the will of the people to have same sex marriage, now there's no point in having civil marriage in this country whatsoever," King said in a YouTube video after the decision. "

"So I'm calling upon the states, just abolish civil marriage, let's go back to holy matrimony the way it began, do that alone," King said. "In the next few days I'll be introducing legislation to do just that."

Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, and Rep. Raul Labrador, an Idaho Republican, called for an act "which would prevent the federal government from discriminating against anyone who believes that marriage is a union between one man and one woman."

Gay marriages were underway in Georgia, Ohio, Texas, Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska and South Dakota, the AP reported Friday afternoon.

In Arkansas, where the ban on gay marriage was in an on-again-off-again limbo, the judge who struck down the ban in 2014 before the ruling was stayed performed one of Friday's first same-sex weddings.

Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza married Tony Chiaro, 73, and Earnie Matheson, 65, in his Little Rock courtroom.

Piazza said it was the only same-sex marriage he planned on presiding over, but "I looked at their faces and realized how much this meant to them."

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