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Alabama chief justice: federal judge's order non-binding

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says a federal judge's order requiring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is non-binding.

After a hearing today, U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ordered Mobile County's probate judge to start issuing gay marriage licenses. Last month, she ruled that Alabama's constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman violates the U.S. Constitution.

But Moore said today that he believes only the U.S. Supreme Court can force the state's judges to license same-sex marriages. The high court has let stand Granade's ruling overturning Alabama's gay marriage ban.

In an Associated Press interview, Moore warned that "once they start tampering with the definition of marriage which was given of God, there is no end to it." He said courts would then have to let people marry multiple partners or their own children.

Hundreds of gay couples have wed in Alabama this week, the 37th state to allow same-sex marriages, but some county judges have refused to issue licenses to anyone, including heterosexual couples.

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