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MARRIAGE EQUALITY

OBERGEFELL V. HODGES VICTORY IN 2015

On June 26, 2015, two years after DOMA was overturned, the Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marriage is guaranteed to all couples. This was a monumental victory for families everywhere -- but ther's still work to be done. Currently 11 counties across Alabama are rufusing to grant marriage licenses.

 Equality Alabama will continue to fight for the proper implementation of the Supreme Courts' decision.

We still have more work to do for all couples to enjoy the same protections in all counties across Alabama.

THE FIGHT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN ALABAMA

June 6, 2006: ​Opponents of the freedom to marry in Alabama push through Amendment 774, a constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry and any other legal family status. The amendment cements clearly discriminatory language into the Alabama Constitution.

2006-2014: As Americans nationwide engage in conversations about why marriage matters, national and local advocates in Alabama take strides toward increasing understanding of same-sex couples and their families.

April 2012: Polling in Alabama tracks a marked growth in support for the freedom to marry, reflecting the power of the national discussion of why marriage matters.

May 7, 2014: A same-sex couple and private attorneys file a federal legal case seeking the freedom to marry in Alabama, Searcy v. Bentley. Read the initial complaint – and meet the plaintiffs. 

In the same year, and in 2015, several other cases are filed, including Hard v. Bentley, Aaron-Brush v. Bentley and Strawser v. Strange building momentum for marriage in the courts.

January 23, 2015: U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. Granade rules in favor of the freedom to marry in Searcy v. Strange, striking down Alabama's ban on same-sex couples from marrying. Judge Granade issues a brief stay on the ruling, and opponents request an extension on the stay from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Read the ruling in Searcy.

February 2, 2015: The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denies the request for a stay in Searcy v. Strange. Opponents file a request for the stay extension from the U.S. Supreme Court.

February 9, 2015: The U.S. Supreme Court denies a request to stay the Alabama marriage ruling, allowing the decision to take effect. Same-sex couples begin marrying in nearly every Alabama county.

March 3, 2015: Judge Granade’s ruling for the freedom to marry in Alabama is put on hold when the Alabama Supreme Court issues a conflicting decision in a case brought by marriage opponents. Read the Alabama Supreme Court's out-of-step ruling.

May 21, 2015: Judge Granade issues an injunction in her ruling, ordering all probate judges to issue licenses to same-sex couples. She stays the injunction pending the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on the question of the freedom to marry.

June 26, 2015: The United States Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage for same-sex couples, returning the freedom to marry to Alabama once and for all. 

GROUPS THAT ACTIVELY WORKED ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY ALABAMA:

Equality Alabama works to advance full equality and civil rights for all the people of Alabama through education and action.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization working on a variety of LGBT issues. NCLR served as counsel in the Strawser v. Strange case.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a national legal organization committed to civil rights for all Americans. SPLC served as counsel in the Hard v. Bentley case.

The ACLU of Alabama has worked on a variety of civil rights issues in Alabama, including the freedom to marry. The ACLU served as counsel in the Aaron-Brush v. Bentley case.

Freedom to Marry was the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.

WORK STILL TO BE DONE

Although the majority of Alabama counties are now issuing marriage licenses, there are currently 11 Alabama counties who have stopped issuing marriage licenses all together.