I had something else planned for this Good News Fridays, but then this evening, something amazing happened! U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade in Mobile ruled that the Alabama Marriage Protection Act and the Alabama Amendment 774 (Sanctity of Marriage Amendment) that put the marriage act in the state constitution were both unconstitutional! Yes, unconstitutional! The federal judge said Alabama’s constitutional ban on gay marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. What does this mean for Alabama? For starters, the state of Alabama is going to try to challenge this. But, the federal judge ruled without imposing a stay, which means it is likely now that Alabama is the 37th marriage equality state.
Two, several people in the Alabama government are already calling this ruling as something outrageous. Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, who is facing corruption charges himself, said:
“It is outrageous when a single unelected and unaccountable federal judge can overturn the will of millions of Alabamians who stand in firm support of the Sanctity of Marriage Act,” he said in a prepared statement. “The Legislature will encourage a vigorous appeals process, and we will continue defending the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live.”
Keep in mind, Judge Ginny Granade was appointed by former president George W. Bush. And has high praise by many in the Republican Party. The case was about two women in a relationship trying to adopt a 9-year-old boy. Whom one of the women has raised the boy since birth. So, unless the judge grants a stay, the couple will be able to legally adopt the boy! Same sex couples will also be able to file joint tax returns, meaning couples will save thousands of dollars on their tax bills. Also, same sex couples will be able to be legally married, something that needed to change for a while now, no matter what some Christian people believes in.
Judge Ginny Granade wrote some good things in her ruling. She said:
“If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children. 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. Yet Alabama’s Sanctity laws harms the children of same-sex couples for the same reasons that the Supreme Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act harmed the children of same-sex couples. 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.”
Read the entire ruling below!
Well, Monday Morning is going to be very interesting across this state! Will some county clerk offices refuse to open because of religious beliefs, so they don’t have to issue same-sex marriage licenses? Will the Alabama Attorney General continue to waste state money fighting something that will go nowhere and will not win? Will a couple going to get a same-sex marriage license be harassed or abused by someone next week? Will businesses refuse to service people who are homosexual because of religious beliefs? Will our state legislators try to block same-sex marriages in Alabama during the upcoming legislative session? And, will the US Supreme Court rule this Summer that same-sex marriages are legal across all 50 states?
Indeed, the time for love and tolerance for anyone getting married, even if they are same-sex and/or homosexual, is now here! If you don’t like it, get over it! But, Alabama still has a long way to go with equal rights for all homosexual people. In Alabama, there are no statewide nondiscrimination protections, meaning homosexual people could face unfair treatment in employment, housing, and public accommodations. So, will employers, public offices, or landlords mistreat same-sex people because they can get married now? I sure hope not! Welcome to the 21st century Alabama! Love is a wonderful thing!