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Federal judge strikes down Alabama same-sex marriage ban

Alabama State Capitol - Credit: Thomas A/flickr

Alabama State Capitol – Credit: Thomas A/flickr

A federal judge struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage in a decision handed down Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade found 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. 

According to Granade’s ruling, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange failed to explain how allowing or recognizing same-sex marriage between two consenting adults prevents heterosexual parents from caring for their biological children.

“If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children,” the ruling states. “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. 

“Yet Alabama’s Sanctity laws harms the children of same-sex couples for the same reasons that the Supreme Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act harmed the children of same-sex couples.”

The decision comes in a case brought by a same-sex couple legally married in California. 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.

“In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama,” the decision states.

Granade ordered Strange to cease enforcing the state’s marriage ban and issued no stay to her ruling. Granade was nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2001.

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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