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Judge denies stay in Alabama marriage equality ruling

The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit denied the Alabama Attorney General’s motion for a stay in Searcy v. Strange and Strawser v. Strange. Last month, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade struck down Alabama’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying.

With today’s ruling, and without further intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex couples can begin to marry in Alabama on Feb. 9. As stay requests are evaluated on the basis of a plaintiff’s likelihood to succeed in the case, many court watchers believe it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will act to grant an extended stay.

“There is no justifiable reason to continue enforcing discriminatory marriage bans after a clear court order striking them down,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow in response to the news.

“This confirms what we already knew—that LGBT Alabamians have the constitutional right to marry, regardless of who they love. The time has come for loving and committed couples from Florence and Huntsville to the Gulf Coast to be able to marry in the state they call home,” said HRC Alabama State Director Ashley Jackson

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