Just as it took the federal courts to strike down Jim Crow laws in Alabama, so now we see the federal courts striking down Alabama's animus inspired ban on same sex marriage. Given the reality that Alabama is now more reactionary than it was when I lived there over 30 years ago, it is a welcome event to see a federal judge - a George W. Bush appointee no less - strike down a constitutional ban that enshrined religious based discrimination into the Alabama Constitution. Here are highlights from the Washington Blade:
A federal judge in Alabama has become the latest to strike down a state ban on same-sex marriage, ruling against the Yellowhammer State’s prohibition on gay nuptials on the basis that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment.In a 10-page decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, an appointee of George W. Bush, issued summary judgement in favor of a plaintiff same-sex couple, finding Alabama marriage laws violate the couple’s right to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.“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,” Granade writes. “In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”Granade continues Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional for the same reason the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.“If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children,” Granade writes. “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.”No stay is included in the decision, which enjoins the state from enforcing Alabama’s laws prohibiting same-sex marriage in their entirety. It seems same-sex couples can begin to wed in the state as soon as clerk’s offices are open for business. The decision makes Alabama the 37th state in the country to have same-sex marriage.
I'm sure the gay haters are foaming at the mouth this morning all across Alabama.