Alabama seeks to stay order overturning gay marriage ban

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Alabama seeks to stay order overturning gay marriage ban
The first married couple in Richmond, Va., on Monday, October 6, 2014.
Supreme Court rejects states' appeals, lets gay marriage expand to 30 states http://t.co/vbWT6GAMvJ http://t.co/N2d2cJgF0N
Lots of celebrating at the courthouse in Richmond. We've seen one wedding happen and heard of plans for many others! http://t.co/77qX2TqgFp
Pics of the first gay couple to marry in Richmond. Getting their marriage license at 1pm - the minute it was legal http://t.co/8gfVz76vLC
Supreme Court allows gay marriage to expand to 30 states in an unexpected decision today: http://t.co/ZCqAr1oiXO http://t.co/28OGkbGuHW
Gay marriage will now be legal in a majority of U.S. states. http://t.co/Ok7l7ZFXb8 http://t.co/NzBTXfeI8J
Mazel tov to Craig Bowen and Jake Miller, the first gay couple married in Indianapolis today. [via @indystar] http://t.co/VVbsTDlJCz
Trib's photo of the day. Photog Trent Nelson captures the first gay couple married in #Utah. http://t.co/giy9MMXoLQ http://t.co/QA16FMSUI2
LOVE IS LOVE. #equality #gaymarriage #oklahoma
Hey y'all! Virginians can now get gay married!!! Heading over to the chapel right now with my "boyfriend" @layres. I was finally able to get a picture with him smiling :)
CAN'T FOCUS AT WORK. WE IS SO EXCITED THAT WE CAN NOW MARRY IN THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA. TOO REAL
Jennifer Melsop and Erika Turner outside the Arlington courthouse. Jennifer and Erika were the first same Alex couple to get a marriage license in Arlington,VA, and married shortly thereafter in front of a throng of journalists. They learned of the Supreme Court ruling that allowed same sex couples in Virginia to marry via a post on the human rights campaign facebook page. The couple had a ceremony planned for a year from today in DC, but acted fast to be able to get. Virginia marriage license. #onassignment #samesexmarriage #gaymarriage #virginia #scotus
#Pueblo issues gay marriage license, but El Paso County not quite ready http://t.co/g4kDurXZrq http://t.co/cOpAgT4hyn
Mary Bishop signs her marriage license. Couple plan to marry this afternoon. http://t.co/I9JIwhh7XD
Alan Combs, who was denied a marriage license in August, just married his partner of 32 years. #INgaymarriage http://t.co/dcXdkxKqXo
Tony London and Tim Bostic are heading in to get their marriage license http://t.co/tXo0zdpB4b
Second gay couple to get marriage license in Richmond. "We didn't even change clothes" says guy in flip-flops http://t.co/LIwt6EZ19g
New marriage license in Arlington. Now says "spouse & spouse" not "bride & groom". http://t.co/SKNhRYoSep
Hobart residents Michelle Davies & Tonya Richards officially have a marriage license from Lake Co. @nwi #nwindiana http://t.co/egQnQnGOsi
Surprise! They got married today! http://t.co/78zeArItlq
It's official! They have their marriage license! http://t.co/SPf4RWmBWP
VB deputy clerk Shanette wanted to be the one to give the couple their license http://t.co/OFGf9jctTC
Another couple here to get their marriage license. First female couple in VB http://t.co/mJURFNOJ1W
#marriagelicense #equality #samesexmarriage #historyinthemaking #beautiful #lesbian #gay #equality #instalove #lucky #instagay #instacute #instagood #instadaily #IGERS #love #engaged #amo #amor #loveislove #lgbt #virginia #follow #TFLers #life #noh8 #fiance @cricknic
This was the first same-sex couple in line to apply for a marriage license following the Supreme Court’s rejection to hear Indiana’s appeal on gay marriage. What does this mean? #samesexmarriage is now legal in Indiana & the state must recognize gay marriages conducted in other states.
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama attorney general is asking a federal judge to stay a ruling that overturned Alabama's ban on gay marriage, as advocates cheer what once seemed an improbable victory in the deeply conservative state.

Attorney General Luther Strange's office asked a federal judge on Friday to put the ruling on hold since the U.S. Supreme Court plans to take up the issue of gay marriage this term, "resolving the issues on a nation-wide basis."

U.S. District Callie V.S. Granade on Friday said Alabama's ban was unconstitutional, ruling in favor of two Mobile women who sued to challenge Alabama's refusal to recognize their 2008 marriage performed in California. The ruling is the latest in a string of wins in the South for advocates of gay marriage rights after judges struck down bans in the Carolinas, Florida, Mississippi and Virginia. The U.S. Supreme Court announced this month that it will take up the issue of whether gay couples have a fundamental right to marry and if states can ban such unions.

Alabama plaintiffs Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand have been a couple for more than 15 years and have a son together who was conceived with the help of a sperm donor. They filed a federal lawsuit after courts refused to let Searcy be recognized as the adoptive parent of the boy because they were not spouses under Alabama law.

"We just want our son to have the same protections that every child in Alabama enjoys and now he can!" the couple said in a statement issued Saturday morning.

David Kennedy, a lawyer for the couple said, "Justice and equality are guaranteed to everyone and we are proud to know that is true in Alabama tonight."

The judge's decision Friday reverberated through the Deep South state where 81 percent of state voters in 2006 approved inserting a ban on gay marriage into the Alabama Constitution.

"It is outrageous when a single unelected and unaccountable federal judge can overturn the will of millions of Alabamians who stand in firm support of the Sanctity of Marriage Act," Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard said.

A spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said the governor was disappointed in the decision and said the state is reviewing the decision to decide the next steps.

"The people of Alabama voted in a constitutional amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman," Bentley Communications Director Jennifer Ardis said.

Advocates of gay marriage cheered what they called a historic victory in a state traditionally hostile to gay activism.

Ben Cooper, chairman of Equality Alabama, said, "We expect and hope that the attorney general will uphold the decision to recognize same-sex marriage. These laws are irrational and finally have come to the forefront of this debate thanks to brave women like Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand."

Alabama asked the judge to stay the order until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue on a national basis.

In seeking a stay, state lawyers argued there would be widespread confusion if "marriages are recognized on an interim basis."

"A stay will serve the public interest by avoiding the confusion and inconsistency that will result from an on-again, off-again enforcement of marriage laws," state lawyers wrote.

Granade enjoined Strange from enforcing the state's same-sex marriage bans, raising the question of what happens next. Lawyers for Searcy and McKeand said the couple plan to refile their adoption paperwork next week and believe same-sex couples can begin to wed in the state as early as Monday.

David Dinielli, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center LGBT Rights Project, said in his personal view, couples should be able to seek marriage licenses when the doors of the county clerks' offices open Monday. However, he said it will likely take much more litigation for that to happen.

Alabama has two laws banning gay marriage, a state statute and a constitutional amendment called the "Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment" that was approved by voters in 2006. Granade said both were in violation of the equal-protection and due-process clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

Granade rejected arguments from Alabama that the state had an interest in promoting marriage between men and women for the benefit of children. She said the state does not ban marriage for couples who are infertile, elderly, or want to remain childless, and she said children of gay couples are equally deserving of protection under the law.

"The attorney general does not explain how allowing or recognizing same-sex marriage between two consenting adults will prevent heterosexual parents or other biological kin from caring for their biological children," Granade wrote.

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