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Alabama chief justice tells judges: Refuse gay marriage licenses

    Shanté Wolfe, left and Tori Sisson, right, laugh with each other near the Montgomery County Courthouse Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 in Montgomery, Ala. Wolfe and Sisson camped out all night on Sunday to be the first couple to marry in Montgomery on Monday morning.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. » Alabama is set Monday to become the 37th state where gays can legally wed, even as the state’s chief justice has made an 11th hour attempt to put such weddings on hold.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore sent a letter to probate judges Sunday evening ordering them to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Moore told the judges they’re not bound by a federal judge’s recent ruling that overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage.

Gay couples are expected at courthouses around the state Monday as a federal judge’s order overturning the gay marriage ban takes effect.

Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said she doubted probate judges would defy a federal judge on Moore’s behalf. She accused the chief justice of grandstanding.

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