Gay Marriage Legal In Alabama, But Not Without A Fight

Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP Images.
Today, Alabama became the 37th state in the U.S. to legalize marriage equality. However, the new legislation did not come without a hard and dirty fight by the state's own government. On January 23, U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, giving the state until February 9 to make the adjustment. The state immediately filed a motion to uphold the ban, pending a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, and, in a last-ditch effort, Alabama Chief Justice Judge Roy S. Moore ordered officials to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. 

"Effective immediately, no probate judge of the state of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama probate judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent" with the Alabama Constitution or state law, he wrote in a public letter last night. But, grandstanding aside, SCOTUS ruled against upholding the ban in a 7-2 vote. 

Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the matter of state bans on marriage equality nationwide. Until then, hundreds of couples have gathered outside Alabama courthouses, preparing to wed and celebrating this victory. The state began issuing licenses this morning. 

Probate judge Alan L. King was one of many glad to ignore Moore's order and comply with the federal court order. "This is a happy day for all of these couples, and if you can’t be happy for people, then I’m sorry," he told The New York Times. "If someone can’t understand the joy and happiness of others, then I don’t know what else I can say." (The New York Times)
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