Alabama county resumes issuing gay-marriage licenses

By the Associated Press | January 9, 2016 | 3:15 PM EST

FILE - In this June 28, 2015, file photo, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks to the congregation of Kimberly Church of God in Kimberly, Ala. Moore continues to fight against gay marriage in the state, suggesting on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, that Alabama probate judges should refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2015 that effectively legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Officials in Alabama's Mobile County say marriage license operations have resumed despite an order from state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore saying judges have a "ministerial duty" not to issue licenses to gay couples.

After Moore issued the order Wednesday, several probate judges suspended license operations for all couples and sought guidance.

Mobile County Probate Court Chief Clerk Joe McEarchern Jr. said the county's marriage license window reopened Friday morning "based on further review of what the law is."

Madison and Lawrence counties had also suspended marriage license operations, but resumed Thursday after getting advice from legal counsel.

Moore has denied that he is defying the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last June effectively legalizing gay marriage nationwide. He said he's simply trying to address confusion over conflicting orders between state and federal courts.