81.8 F
Mobile
83.2 F
Huntsville
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Birmingham
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Montgomery

Federal judge strikes down Alabama’s gay marriage ban

Gay-Marriage

MOBILE, Ala. — A federal judge on Friday evening issued a ruling striking down Alabama’s constitutional ban on gay marriage on the grounds that it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

The plaintiffs in the case, Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand, have been a same-sex couple since 2000. They’ve lived in Mobile, Ala., since 2001, but traveled to California in 2008 to get legally married after winning a San Diego Convention Bureau contest, according to the Associated Press.

A central issue in the case was McKeand’s 8-year-old child.

The AP explains:

McKeand gave birth to a son, Khaya, in 2005. He was conceived with the help of a sperm donor. However, the couple’s efforts to have Searcy declared Khaya’s adoptive parent were rebuffed in the state court system because Alabama does not recognize the couple as spouses.

“I am a parent in every way to our son, but legally I am still considered a stranger,” said Searcy. “We just want our son to have the same protections and securities as other Alabama families.”

U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade’s ruling in Searcy v. Strange reads, in part, as follows:

There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples. In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.

Judge Granade was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in 2002 by George W. Bush. She received recommendations from both of Alabama’s U.S. senators, Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, at the time of her nomination.

This article has been updated to add more background on the case, and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.