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Federal judge strikes down Alabama’s gay marriage ban

Federal judge strikes down Alabama’s gay marriage ban

A federal judge on Friday (23 January) struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade did not place a stay on the ruling which could mean couples can begin applying for marriage licenses on Monday. But the state’s Attorney General Luther Strange plans to appeal the ruling and request a stay.

Granade wrote in her 10-page ruling: ‘If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children.’

The judge found that Alabama’s marriage laws violate the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

The ruling comes from a legal challenge filed by a lesbian couple who were married in California and wanted the marriage recognized in their home state.

Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand have been together for more than a decade and have a child that McKeand gave birth to. The state refused to recognize Searcy as the adoptive parent because the couple was not legally married in their eyes.

At the time of the ruling, Alabama was one of just 14 states remaining in the US that bans same-sex marriage.

Last week, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear gay marriage cases from four different states which should decide the marriage equality issue for the nation.