Judgment - Public Domain

Alabama’s chief justice on Monday ordered state judges to defy a federal ruling that overturns the state’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage, even as pro-gay groups celebrated the failure of the Supreme Court to intervene as a signal the justices will decide in their favor in this summer’s highly anticipated decision.

Most of the state’s counties, with the backing of Alabama’s governor, refused or held off on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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