Ala. Probate Judge Knocks Chief Justice: I’m On ‘Right Side Of History’

February 15, 2015 3:08 p.m.
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Alabama Probate Judge Steven Reed on Sunday said he had no problem defying the chief justice’s order not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples after a federal court struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

“There was no hesitation. At the time Chief Justice Moore had not started bloviating on this topic and so there was no need to defy because I didn’t ask for his opinion and frankly didn’t need it,” Reed said on ABC’s “This Week” about his decision to begin issuing gay marriage licenses.

Reed was the first probate judge to say he would issue licenses to same-sex couples. He said he did not care if Chief Justice Roy Moore and Alabama residents oppose gay marriage.

“We’re a nation of laws, not of men, and so we are sworn to uphold an oath in the probate court and that’s what we do, we uphold the oath as it relates to the state constitution and the U.S. constitution,” he said. “And so we understand that we can’t bring politics and personal feelings into decisions that we make day-to-day.”

“I think it was a desperate attempt to defy the federal government,” he said about Moore’s order. “I think that’s what places Alabama a step backwards in some people’s eyes when they see things like this happen, the defiance and the resistance. And I think that we’re on the front side of this and we’re on the right side of history where this is concerned.”

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