Federal judge strikes down Alabama’s gay marriage ban

24 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alabama Gay-Marriage Ban Thrown Out as Harmful to Children.

U.S. MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama attorney general is asking a federal judge to stay a ruling that overturned Alabama’s ban on gay marriage, as advocates cheer what once seemed an improbable victory in the deeply conservative state. Plaintiffs Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand said that they had been a couple for more than a decade and had a child together with the help of a sperm donor.

However, an Alabama court refused to let Searcy be recognized as the child’s adoptive parent because state law did not recognize the couple as spouses. Granade on Friday ruled in favor of two Mobile women who sued to challenge Alabama’s refusal to recognize their 2008 marriage performed in California.

District Judge Callie Granade in Mobile on Friday rejected arguments that the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act serve a legitimate goal of protecting the bonds between children and their biological parents. There is no link between prohibiting and not recognizing same-sex marriages and the state’s purported goal of having more children raised in the biological family structure, the judge said. “If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children,” Granade said. “Those children currently being raised by same-sex parents in Alabama are just as worthy of protection and recognition by the state as are the children being raised by opposite-sex parents.” The Supreme Court agreed to review prohibitions on same-sex marriages that are being challenged by couples from four states. The court’s ruling, which may come in June, could clear the way for same-sex couples to marry in all states and may stand alongside the 1967 decision that struck down bans on interracial marriages. In the Alabama case, two women who married in California challenged the state’s prohibition after one of them was denied a request to adopt her spouse’s child because Alabama doesn’t recognize their marriage.

Supreme Court announced this month that it will take up the issue of whether gay couples have a fundamental right to marry and if states can ban such unions. Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Judge Granade ruled that the “Sanctity of Marriage Act” violated the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said the news is a “demonstration of how traditional values espoused by Alabamians have begun to erode even in our conservative state.” Ben Cooper, chairman of Equality Alabama, said, “We expect and hope that the attorney general will uphold the decision to recognize same-sex marriage.

In seeking a stay, state lawyers argued there would be widespread confusion if “marriages are recognized on an interim basis that are ultimately determined to be inconsistent with Alabama law.”

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