Alabama

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; on January 23, a federal judge struck down state's marriage ban, with no stay; unless a stay is issued, same-sex couples may be able to receive marriage licenses as soon as Monday, January 26 as a presumptive appeal proceeds

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

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, although defendants in the state are now seeking a stay. 

Marriage supporters across the state are continuing to speak out in favor of equality, working to overturn anti-marriage laws in Alabama so that all same-sex couples can share in the freedom to marry.

In February 2014, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit, Hard v. Bentley, seeking respect for a widow's marriage to his husband. In the same year, two other same-sex couples filed separate lawsuits, including Searcy v. Strange, which received a ruling in favor of the freedom to marry in Alabama in January 2015. Read more about marriage litigation in Alabama.

HISTORY:

In 2005, the Alabama state legislature passed a bill that allowed the state's residents to vote on a constitutional amendment to ban all forms of family status for same-sex couples. The amendment passed, cementing clearly discriminatory language into official state policy.

In June 2006 anti-gay forces in Alabama pushed through an anti-marriage constitutional amendment, the so-called Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, which excludes same-sex couples from marriage and bars them from attaining any other form of family status.

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:

  • Equality Alabama is working to advance full equality and civil rights for all the people of Alabama through education and action.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center is a national legal organization committed to civil rights for all Americans. 
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 

POLLING DATA: 

Support for the freedom to marry has doubled in Alabama in the past 8 years, with 32% of the population now supporting marriage. In 2004, just 16% were supportive. (Williams Institute, 2012) 

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 6,582 same-sex couples are living in Alabama, representing 3.5 same-sex couples per 1,000 households. 

Blog Posts Related to Alabama

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.

Finishing the Job: With 15 states left to win, here’s how marriage is moving forward

Freedom to Marry has always been committed to winning marriage for same-sex couples nationwide - and now, as momentum surges across the country, it is more important for supporters to do all they can to speak out for the freedom to marry nationwide. Here's what's going on in the 15 where same-sex couples continue to be denied the freedom to marry.

Freedom to Marry launches new digital hub to share stories of Alabama families

Today, November 19, Freedom to Marry launched a new digital hub to share stories and photos of same-sex couples and families living in Alabama. These moving stories show the urgency of winning the freedom to marry for all loving, committed couples.

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Resources Related to Alabama

Children’s book Uncle Bobby’s Wedding charms with effortless inclusion

An LGBT-inclusive children's book about an anthropomorphic young guinea pig who worries that Uncle Bobby won't keep having fun with her after he marries his boyfriend Jamie.

Alabama Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Alabama

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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