Alabama

STATUS:

Marriage

WINNING MARRIAGE:

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.

On February 4, 2015, the 11th Circuit put the appeal to this ruling on hold pending action from the Supreme Court this spring.

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

Alabama probate judge refuses to finalize adoption for marriage case plaintiffs

Freedom to Marry is working with our partners at Equality Alabama, the Campaign for Southern Equality, and legal partners to continue pushing for the freedom to marry in Alabama until all same-sex couples, in every county, can say "I do" in Alabama.

Equality Alabama to AL Supreme Court: allow probate judges to follow the law

Today, February 13, Equality Alabama filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief with the Alabama Supreme Court urging the Court to dismiss two private organizations' Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus regarding the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Alabama.

Federal judge rules: the freedom to marry is law in Alabama

Today, February 12, U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade issued an injunction ordering the Mobile, AL probate judge to follow her previous ruling and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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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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