Alabama Marriage Equality Update #2 – February 12th

Written by scott on February 12th, 2015

Things are still moving on marriage equality in Alabama.

As of this morning, 23 of the state’s 67 counties were giving marriage licenses to same sex couples.

Watermark reports:

Only 23 of Alabama’s 67 counties have followed a federal ruling declaring a ban on same-sex marriages there unconstitutional. That means 44 counties—which encompasses 56% of Alabamians—have refused to follow federal law. According to the HRC, 16 counties have refused to follow the ruling and have only given marriage licenses to opposite-gender couples. Twenty-eight counties have decided not to issue marriage licenses to any couples at all.

A lawsuit seeking to compel Mobile County’s probate judge to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples was held in front of the judge who overturned the ban in the first place.

SDGLN reports:

U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade heard oral arguments today in an emergency motion filed by four same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses on Monday when marriage equality began in the state. Judge Granade told the packed courtroom that she would issue her decision as soon as possible.

Turns out, that was about an hour later, although it may technically only apply to the one county:

“Probate Judge Don Davis is hereby enjoined from refusing to issue marriage licenses to plaintiffs due to the Alabama laws which prohibit same-sex marriage,” Judge Granade wrote in her order released Thursday afternoon. “This injunction binds Judge Don Davis and all his officers, agents, servants and employees, and others in active concert or participation with any of them, who would seek to enforce the marriage laws of Alabama which prohibit or fail to recognize same-sex marriage.”

Same sex couples started marrying shortly after. reports:

Following U.S. District Judge Callie Granade’s order that Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis must issue license to gay couples, marriage equality has now arrived in Alabama’s second-largest county. Pictured [below] are Robert Povilat and Milton Persinger, one of the four same-sex couples that filed the emergency motion with Judge Granade Monday night after Davis stopped issuing marriage licensee to all couples rather than allow gay couples to start tying the knot in his county. Povilat and Persinger are the first same-sex couple in Mobile County to receive a marriage license.

Gay Couple in Mobile County

And one more probate judge, this one in Baldwin County, said he will start issuing licenses to same sex couples tomorrow.

Equality on Trial reports:

Tonight, Baldwin County’s probate judge announced that, despite his personal misgivings on the issue of same-sex marriage, he will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples tomorrow: “I have reached this decision after much thought and prayer,” said Judge Russell. “While this offends my personal beliefs, I feel compelled to follow the order of Judge Granade issued to Judge [Don] Davis.” Russell added that Friday will be the first day same-sex couples can be wed in Baldwin County unless the federal or state courts provide “further guidance or rulings” on the issue.

Meanwhile a Presbyterian group in the state voted to support marriage equality. reports

The Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, a central Alabama group of churches affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), voted 75-39 Thursday in favor of approving gay marriages. They became one of about 38 presbyteries nationwide that have voted in favor of gay marriage.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo took on Chief Justice Roy Moore in a blistering 25 minute interview.

Joe.My.God reports:

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was interviewed this morning by CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who attacked Moore relentlessly over his position on same-sex marriage. While some of the interview devolved into back-and-forth bickering, Cuomo landed blow after blow, at one point telling Moore that he was merely spewing “word salad.”

Among the idiotic things Moore said was that he would continue to fight marriage equality, even if the US Supreme Court rules in favor of it.

CNN reports:

Chief Justice Roy Moore likened an eventual U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage to the Dred Scott ruling and Plessy v. Ferguson, two 19th century Supreme Court rulings that upheld slavery and segregation, respectively. “If it’s an unlawful mandate you can refuse to mandate it. You can dissent to the United States Supreme Court,” Moore said in a testy interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “I will follow the law as I interpret it.”

Jon Stewart mocked Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is standing in the doorway to the courts trying to block same sex couples’ access to marriage equality. reports:

On last night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart took a look at the on-the-ground gay marriage situation in Alabama – including efforts by Chief Justice Roy Moore and certain probate judges to stop marriages from taking place. Stewart also put the spotlight on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s executive order removing LGBT protections in the state – with Stewart wondering why Brownback’s name hasn’t been “Santorumed” yet considering it already sounds pretty much like a sexual word.

The self-described Redneck Reporter looks at how marriage equality has changed his state.

BGR reports:

Gay marriage is legal in the state of Alabama and Alabama resident and self-described “Redneck News” reporter Jeremy Todd Addaway has decided to give us a tongue-in-cheek report on the ground about how this has completely changed his state. Unsurprisingly, Addaway found that practically nothing had changed in Alabama despite dire predictions that the state’s entire moral fabric would unwind if legalized gay marriage ever came to pass.

And the Birmingham News nailed it with a new editorial cartoon:


Will more counties change their minds tomorrow, too?


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Michael says:

    Things are moving the right way in Alabama so far.

  2. Eric Osterberg says:

    I watched and listened to the video interview by Chris Cuomo and Joe Moore has a mental block preventing him from separating church from state. He should be fired as he was in 2003 because of his actions that put Alabama in a position of violating Federal orders. To say that it is OK for the Alabama Constitution to discriminate against American citizens who pay the same taxes etc. is simply stupid. LGBTs are human beings born the way they are and as American citizens they deserve equal rights. Any thing else is a bunch of hoopla by religious extremists.

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