|Alabama Capitol - in Montgomery, Alabama, in the Middle District of Alabama|
One fellow blogger noted that out of all the states that have same sex marriage bans, as of today only nine (9) do no not have pending court cases challenging such base as violations of the United States Constitution. Joining the list today of states where anti-gay animus motivated bans are under challenge is Alabama. As noted before, I lived in Alabama 30+ years ago and the state is far more insane now that it was even when George Wallace was governor (I met Wallace once and he was a moderate on many issues compared to today's GOP). The Bilerico Project looks at today's filing and has these highlights:
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a venerable civil rights organization, announced that it's suing for marriage equality in Alabama. The group filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama today.From the SPLC website:
Thankfully, as decisions are being handed down by federal courts striking down same sax marriage bans more and more courts are recognizing that state level marriage bans are based on anti-gay animus and/or religious based discrimination, neither of which are sufficient to make discriminatory laws constitutional.The lawsuit... seeks to overturn the state's Marriage Protection Act, a 1998 law that bans the recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, and the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, which enshrined this ban in the constitution in 2005.
SPLC is filing the suit on behalf of Paul Hard, an Alabama man whose husband David was in a car wreck in 2011. Because their legal Massachusetts marriage isn't recognized by the state, the receptionist wouldn't tell him anything about his husband's condition. It took him half an hour to find out that David had died.Later, the funeral director insisted that David's death certificate list him as unmarried because he and Paul were legal strangers in the eyes of the state. Paul has since sued over the wrongful death of his husband, but the non-recognition of his marriage to David presents substantial legal obstacles.The SPLC writes:
The suit also demands that Hard receive his rightful share of the proceeds from a pending wrongful death suit, and that Alabama issue a corrected death certificate for Fancher that lists Hard as the surviving spouse."Alabama has created two classes of marriages within its borders and deemed one of those classes - marriages between people of the same sex - to be inferior to the other," said David C. Dinielli, SPLC deputy legal director. "This is unconstitutional."
P.S. I still am a member of the Alabama State Bar.