Marriage equality comes to Alabama

On Friday evening, the United States District Court for the 11th Circuit in Alabama struck down the ban on marriage equality in Alabama. U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade found that the Alabama Constitution and the Alabama Code containing these prohibitions are unconstitutional because they violated the due process clause and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The ruling was a clear win for plaintiffs Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand.

Attorney General Luther Strange asked a federal judge to put a stay on the ruling until the US Supreme Court rules on its marriage equality cases, which are likely to definitively settle the issue of marriage equality nation-wide.

Equality Alabama Board Char, Ben Cooper, (pictured above with Alabama's only openly gay representative, Patricia Todd) issued a statement:

For years, Equality Alabama has been a leader in moving this state forward, repeatedly questioning the ban on marriage equality and equal rights among all of its LGBT citizens. We expect and hope that the attorney general will uphold the decision to recognize same-sex marriage. These laws are irrational and finally have come to the forefront of this debate thanks to brave women like Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand. 

We have received the direction from our 11th circuit federal district that the institution of marriage is a fundamental right and a vital personal right not to be denied to any person. I am positive with this landmark decision there will be many questions. Yet opportunities now to reinforce and bring Alabama among its fellow states where equality is undeniably a reality.