After Feb. 9, barring legal action from the 11th U.S. District Court of Appeals, Alabama will become the 37th state to recognize same-sex marriage.
On Friday Jan. 23, U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade struck down Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage amendment for being unconstitutional. The decision arose from a case concerning the second parent adoption rights of two Mobile residents, Cari Searcy and her partner Kim McKeand.
The couple raised their nine year old son, Khaya, from birth and applied for Searcy to be legally recognized as the boy’s adoptive parent in the state. When their request was denied, the pair sued the state.
“Those children currently being raised by same-sex parents in Alabama are just as worthy of protection and recognition by the State as are the children being raised by opposite-sex parents,” Granade stated in her ruling.
As news of the ruling spread, Attorney General Luther Strange asked for an immediate stay, or hold, on Granade’s ruling. On Jan. 25, the district judge announced that she would grant the Attorney General’s request for two weeks.
The following day, the Attorney General’s office filed an additional stay to the 11th U.S. District Court of Appeals to block Granade’s case.
A second Mobile gay couple was granted the right to marry on Monday, according to al.com. The two men, James Strawser and John Humphrey, filed a suit for the right to marry in September. Granade examined the case on Jan. 26 and used her decision from the earlier Searcy case to grant the marriage right to the two men.
Currently, the stay on Granade’s decision will expire on Feb. 9. It is then that Searcy and McKeand, Strawser and Humphrey as well as several other Alabama same sex couples could officially marry in accordance with the law.