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Federal Judge Strikes Down Alabama's Same-Sex Marriage Ban; Attorney General Vows to Continue Fighting

( [email protected] ) Jan 23, 2015 08:13 PM EST
U.S. District judge Caille V.S. Granade ruled Friday in favor of two women who sued the state for refusing to recognize their marriage performed in California.
Tamika Moore/AP

A federal judge has struck down Alabama's ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional.   

U.S. District judge Caille V.S. Granade ruled Friday in favor of two women who sued the state for refusing to recognize their marriage performed in California.

Plaintiffs Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand said that they had been together for more than a decade and had a child together through sperm donor insemination. However, an Alabama court refused to let Searcy be recognized as the child's adoptive parent because state law did not recognize the couple as spouses, the AP reports.

Granade said a state statue and 2006 amendment to the Alabama Constitution, knowing as the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, were both in violation of the 14th Amendment's due process and equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. 

The Alabama Attorney General's Office vowed to continue to fight the case.

"We are disappointed and are reviewing the Federal District Court's decision," said spokesman Mike Lewis, according to AL.com. "We expect to ask for a stay of the court's judgment pending the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling which will ultimately decide this case."

Granade's ruling comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments that will decide whether same-sex marriage ban is legal in all 50 states of America.

Granade, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, wrote that she considered the arguments of the Sixth Circuit but found more persuasive the legal reasoning of four other appellate courts in favor of same-sex marriage.

"The Attorney General does not explain how allowing or recognizing same-sex marriage between two consenting adults will prevent heterosexual parents or other biological kin from caring for their biological children," the judge wrote. "He proffers no justification for why it is that the provisions in question single out same-sex couples and prohibit them, and them alone, from marrying in order to meet that goal."