A judge in Alabama who claims he was inspired by antigay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis asked the state Supreme Court court Wednesday for permission to abstain from signing marriage licenses, calling the documents "a license to engage in sodomy," according to AL.com.
Probate Judge Nick Williams reportedly asked the court for an order to protect him and others from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples if it conflicts with their personal religious beliefs.
If issued, the order would go against the Supreme Court ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality.
Williams credited Davis with inspiring his petition, claiming: "The jailing of Kentucky clerk Kimberly B. Davis put at immediate risk the liberty interest of all faithful and religiously sincere public officials in Alabama whose office has responsibility for making decisions as to whether to give sanction and honor to homosexual relationships to include the issuance of a license to engage in sodomy."
Although the Supreme Court ruled laws against sodomy are unconstitutional in 2003, overturning the 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick decision, sodomy laws are still on the books in a dozen states. And Alabama has been slow to follow federal law, as sodomy was only ruled unconstitutional in the state in 2014.
Randall Marshall, legal director for the ACLU of Alabama, called Williams' petition "the dying gasp of a probate judge. ... If public officials don't want to do their jobs then they don't need to be public officials," he told AL.com.
Williams' however claimed it was the Supreme Court that was not doing its job.
"Clerk Davis would not have been placed in that position had a bar majority of five justices on the United States Supreme Court not chose to substitute their own will as superior to the written United States Constitution, the will of the people as expressed in more than 36 state constitutions, and the common wisdom of our forebears in more than 220 years of American history, and millennia of our Anglo-Western heritage," Williams' petition states.
Prior to the passage of marriage equality, Alabama was one of several states to issue bans on same-sex marriage and according to AL.com, more than six probate judges in the state have refused to issue marriage licenses to any couples following the federal marriage equality ruling. The state's ban was struck down and Alabama judges were required to comply with federal law.
The Alabama Supreme Court has not responded to Williams' petition, according to AL.com. Kim Davis's plea to not issue same-sex marriage licenses was again denied in court Tuesday. She sought a request for a stay on a federal judge's orders requiring her to follow federal law and issue marriage licenses to all couples.