Alabama’s Chief Justice Attempts to Block Same-Sex Marriages

In June of 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states. In sharp contrast to the clear directives of the Supreme Court, on January 6, 2016, Alabama’s Chief Justice has taken drastic actions to prevent such marriages. He issued an Order proclaiming that all Alabama Probate Judges have a duty not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and declared that Alabama’s state law forbidding such marriages did not run afoul of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. The impact of this Order will likely prevent some same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses. Litigation at the federal level ruled that Alabama’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage is unconstitutional – both before and after the Obergefell decision. Further litigation on a Federal level may be required to protect the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marry. The blatant disregard of the United States District Court’s orders and the consequences of Alabama’s Chief Justice’s actions remain to be seen. Read the Order and some background on this defiant judge HERE.

Ms. Rockwell focuses her practice on all aspects of probate and domestic relations cases as well as all aspects of civil appeals. She works with clients from the initial interview through settlement negotiations, trial, post-judgment motions, appeals and collection of judgments. Several of her cases have resulted in published decisions in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court. The Probate and Family Court has appointed Ms. Rockwell to represent incompetent litigants and serve as guardian ad litem to investigate and report to the Court involving matters relating to wills, trusts, probate accounts and child related issues in custody disputes. Ms. Rockwell currently serves on the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Children and the Law Program, on both the trial and appellate panels.


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