Lawsuit against probate judge dismissed

The lawsuit filed against Blount County Probate Judge Chris Green for refusing to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple has been withdrawn. It was dismissed last week on instruction to their attorney by Blount County residents and plaintiffs Kelvin Hathcote and Joseph Hill.

A hearing had been set for last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to determine whether an injunction ordering Green to provide a marriage license to the couple should be issued. Before the hearing, his clients requested the suit be dismissed for personal reasons, according to plaintiffs’ attorney Leroy Maxwell Jr.

After a federal judge ruled in January that Alabama’s laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, Alabama probate judges were ordered by the Alabama Supreme Court on March 3 not to issue same-sex marriage licenses, in compliance with Alabama law and the Alabama Constitution – and in defiance of the federal court order.

That policy went into effect the next day in Blount County, and remains the policy of the probate office, pending further action by the courts. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the issue is expected this summer.