Metro Weekly

Alabama same-sex marriage ban declared unconstitutional for second time

Alabama State Capitol - Credit: Thomas A/flickr
Alabama State Capitol – Credit: Thomas A/flickr

For the second time in as many weeks, a federal judge found Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in a decision handed down Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade declared Alabama law prohibiting same-sex marriage in violation of the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Granade is the same federal judge to find Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional last week.

In that case, a same-sex couple legally married in California brought the case after Alabama refused to recognize their marriage for adoption purposes. Cari Searcy is seeking to adopt Kimberly McKeand’s 8-year-old biological son, but due to Alabama law the state will not recognize Searcy as McKeand’s spouse. The case in which Granade ruled today was brought by a same-sex couple seeking to marry in Alabama.

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“Although the Plaintiffs in this case seek to marry in Alabama, rather than have their marriage in another state recognized, the court adopts the reasoning expressed in the Searcy case and finds that Alabama’s laws violate the Plaintiffs’ rights for the same reasons,” Granade wrote. “Alabama’s marriage laws violate Plaintiffs’ rights under the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by prohibiting same-sex marriage. Said laws are unconstitutional.”

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Granade, who was nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2001, ordered Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and “all his officers, agents, servants and employees, and others in active concert or participation with any of them” to cease enforcing Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban. 

Much as she did in the other same-sex marriage case, Granade stayed her decision for 14-days to allow the state to appeal. If no action is taken by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to extend or lift the stay within that time period, the stay will be lifted on February 9.

Alabama Same-Sex Marriage Decision


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Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's former political editor and White House correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @JustinCSnow.

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