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Same-sex marriages to begin in Alabama after Supreme Court refuses stay

Alabama became the 37th state in the U.S. to allow same-sex marriage on Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused a stay on the state’s 2006 ban.

Despite a call from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore urging judges not to comply with the ruling, state probate judges started issuing marriage licenses on Monday morning to same-sex couples, many of whom had lined up outside courthouses in anticipation.

Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was originally instated as an executive order in August 1996 by Governor Fob James, followed by a law approved by the state’s Congress and signed by James in 1998. In 2006, a state Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was approved by 81 percent of voters by referendum. In January, U.S. District Judge Callie Granade repealed those bans and ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages, placing a stay on her ruling until Feb. 9 to allow the state to prepare. State Attorney General Luther Strange petitioned for an extension of the stay, but the Supreme Court declined to intervene.

The high court is preparing to hear multiple cases on same-sex marriages this year.

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