Federal judge allows marriage case to proceed in Georgia, denying roadblock attempt

Today, January 8, 2015, United States District Court Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. denied the state of Georgia’s motion to dismiss a federal legal case seeking the freedom to marry in GA, Inniss v. Aderhold. The ruling means that the case will be allowed to proceed for a full ruling, and it bodes well for the plaintiffs, who courageously are standing up for the freedom to marry in Georgia.

The case was filed in April 2014 by Lambda Legal, seeking the freedom to marry in Georgia and respect for marriages legally performed elsewhere, on behalf of three same-sex couples that want to marry in Georgia, one same-sex couple married in another state, and one widow.

The plaintiffs include Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman, who are raising a 9-year-old and have been together for 13 years; Rayshawn Chandler and Avery Chandler, police officers from Atlanta together for nearly three years; Michael Bishop and Shane Thomas, who are raising two children after seven years together; and Jennifer Sisson, who lost her wife Pamela Drenner last year and is fighting to have her name listed on the death certificate.

Since June 2013, nearly 60 court rulings have been issued in favor of the freedom to marry, with just four rulings - including, most notably, the out-of-step decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit - upholding marriage discrimination.

Freedom to Marry applauds Lambda Legal and the plaintiffs on all of their work to arrive at this critical point in the fight for the freedom to marry in Georgia and continues to support the work to win as the case proceeds.