Federal judge strikes down marriage ban in Alabama in 60th pro-marriage ruling

On Friday, January 23, U.S. District Court Callie V. Granade ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, striking down Alabama's ban on same-sex couples from marrying. The judge did not issue a stay in her ruling, so unless a stay is issued this weekend, same-sex couples should be able to marry in Alabama as early as Monday morning - or earlier, if a county clerk opens their doors this weekend. 

Shortly after the ruling, the Alabama Attorney General requested an emergency request for a stay. If Judge Granade denies the request, the state could seek a stay from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied a similar request from the state of Florida in December. The state could also seek a stay from the United States Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court is already set to hear arguments on the freedom to marry and decide the question once and for all this spring, having granted review to an out-of-step decision from the 6th Circuit just last week.

The decision in Alabama was in Searcy v. Strange, filed by Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand and private counsel. Cari and Kim have been working for nearly a decade to legally adopt their son, but because of Alabama's marriage laws, the couple has been confronted with roadblock after roadblock. Cari and Kim are raising money for their case here. 

Read the full ruling here. 

Judge Granade was appointed to the bench by Republican President George W. Bush, making her one of many federal judges appointed by Republican presidents to rule in favor of the freedom to marry since June 2013. 

This decision is also the 60th pro-marriage ruling to be issued since June 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Read about all 60 pro-marriage decisions here.