On 4 March 2016, the Supreme Court of Alabama dismissed a petition by conservative activist group Alabama Policy Institute and a probate judge to halt gay marriages in the state.
This was reported by mainstream NBC News (which may have a liberal lean?) as the end of legal challenges to gay marriage in the state.
On the other hand, conservative family activism and religious liberty group AFA reported on the same decision as a stand against judicial tyranny and a refusal to acknowledge the constitutionality and nationwide binding precedence of Obergefell v. Hodges.
I was confused by the apparent contradiction between the two accounts, so I checked the ruling on the court's website. Chief Justice Roy Moore spends 100 pages explaining why gay marriage is evil and unnatural, why Obergefell was an unconstitutional opinion, why unconstitutional opinions do not creating binding precedent, what our oaths of loyalty to the constitution mean, what the difference between a ruling and an opinion is, why he needn't recuse himself, and why Obergefell only applies to the parties to the case, and not to the probate judges of the state of Alabama.
Then he concludes by saying on page 100:
As stated at the beginning of this special concurrence, the certificate of judgment in this case does not disturb the March 2015 orders of this Court that uphold the constitutionality of the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act. For that reason, as explained above, I concur.
I'm confused. His discussion make it seem like AFA has reported correctly that the Alabama judiciary is taking a principled stand against the SCOTUS's decision in Obergefell. But then he concurs to dismiss the petition to halt gay marriage, which seems to have the effect of enforcing Obergefell. If he thinks the probate judges are bound to deny marriage certificates to same sex couples, why is he concurring to dismiss, instead of dissenting? Justice Bolin also writes a concurrence, where he states that despite disagreeing with Obergefell, he recognizes the authority the SCOTUS has over Alabama. That makes sense. But what is Chief Justice Moore doing here?