AS Alabama became the latest US state to bring same-sex marriage into effect over night, up to 52 of the state’s 67 counties declined to process marriage licenses.

Although Federal Court struck down the Deep South’s same-sex marriage ban on January 23, Alabama’s chief justice Roy Moore sent out an order to probate judges telling them to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples, calling it an intrusion on the state’s sovereignty.

“We’ve got Alabama’s chief justice issuing an order, and we’ve got an order out from a federal judge,” Alabama Probate Judges Association president Judge Greg Norris told the New York Times.

“It’s just a very difficult situation.”

Judge Alan L King of Jefferson County refused to comply to Moore’s order.

“At the end of the day, it’s still a very simple legal analysis: you’ve got a federal court order,” he said.

“This is a happy day for all of these couples, and if you can’t be happy for people, then I’m sorry… If someone can’t understand the joy and happiness of others, then I don’t know what else I can say.”

Court officials in some of the state’s largest cities such as Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery have also issued marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. 

Alabama is the 37th US state where same-sex marriage is now legal.

Last month, Huffington Post reported Moore allegedly threatened to defy the “tyranny” of federal courts on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Moore previously rose to infamy when he disobeyed a federal court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building.

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