Alabama

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; on January 23, a federal judge struck down state's marriage ban, with a stay issued for 14 days, set to expire on Monday, February 9, 2015.

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

On Friday, January 23, U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. Granade ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, striking down Alabama's ban on same-sex couples from marrying. The judge issued a 14 day stay in her ruling. On Monday, January 27, Judge Granade again struck down the state's ban in a second case involving an unmarried same-sex couple who wish to marry in Alabama.

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 in Alabama rules in favor of freedom to marry in second case

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. Granade struck down Alabama's ban on marriage between same-sex couples for a second time in one week, ruling in favor of the freedom to marry in a second case.

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.

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Resources Related to Alabama

FAQ: The Freedom to Marry Coming to Alabama

This FAQ covers what the legal landscape for marriage looks like now in AL, how same-sex couples can marry in Alabama beginning February 9, and what marriage supporters can do in the meantime.

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

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