Alabama lifts ban on gay marriage: What it means for same-sex couples in America


Vivian Englund – Copy Editor 

A few weeks ago, the battle for same-sex marriage equality made its way to Alabama. The result of the battle was that gay marriage is now legal in the state.

This contributes to the now 37 states where gay marriage is legal. This is an incline of 18 states in the last four months alone.

This increase can be credited to the Supreme Court who declined to hear appeals from decisions acknowledging same-sex marriage.

While many states are moving forward with legalizing same-sex marriage, others are pulling bans on it. Thankfully, many of these states, are appealing the bans and are in the process of repealing the bans.

There is a downside to certain aspects of the new rule in Alabama however. Some probate judges in Alabama are refusing same-sex couples’ marriage licenses. At least 11 out of 67 counties in Alabama are refusing licenses.

To put this issue into perspective, one of Alabama’s judges, Moore has been known for his uncensored stance on same-sex marriage. In a custody case in 2002, Moore called homosexuality an “inherent evil” because the mother identified as lesbian.

Luckily, the Supreme Court made it clear the Moore was essentially powerless in their decision.

While Moore and other judges are solely not issuing same-sex marriage licenses, some judges are refusing to issue opposite sex marriage licenses as well.

Regardless, is the refusal of marriage licenses legal when there are no existing laws against the two parties? Absolutely not.

This is creating a conflict between the state chief justice and the federal judiciary. On Feb. 9, the Supreme Court ruled that they would not hold the order until the issue was resolved. Basically, no matter what the probate judges do, same-sex marriage will carry on in Alabama.

The Supreme Court’s decision to let Alabama carry on is causing speculation of their stance on marriage equality. Typically actions like this are huge signs that they are pro same-sex marriage.

If they were against or indifferent about the issue they typically would table the issue.

According to BBC, one of the first marriage licenses was issued to Dee and Laura Bush in Birmingham. Dee and Laura have been a couple for seven years now and have five children.

The Bushes were among many other couples to receive a license. Many couples camped outside of courtrooms in hopes of receiving a marriage license of their own.

The couples sat amongst both protestors and supporters of gay marriage as well.

Unfortunately, same-sex marriage is still not legal nationally. But maybe these changes of heart in the Supreme Court will means things are about to change.

We are keeping an eye out for future victories and anticipate long awaited justice in the fight for equal marriage rights.

Photo Credit: Mark Hawkins

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