LGBT

LGBT

SCOTUS ruling legalizes same-sex marriages in Mobile, nationwide

With no specific recognition of a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down same-sex marriage bans nationwide, the marriage license windows at the Mobile County Probate Court opened for all couples a few hours after the ruling was handed down. The ruling was the summation of many civil lawsuits from several states. On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case originating in Ohio. In January, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear Obergefell along with three other cases from Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. The questions posed by the...

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All Alabama counties have stopped issuing same-sex marriage licenses

As of noon today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) was unable to confirm any of Alabama’s 67 counties issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, one day after an order from the Alabama Supreme Court some believe is in defiance of federal authority. The turnaround resulted from an emergency petition to the Alabama Supreme Court by the Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program, which sought to stop probate judges from issuing marriage licenses.Some counties have been providing the licenses since Feb. 9, when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to intervene in a case overturning the state’s...

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State supreme court halts issuance of same-sex marriage licenses

Last this afternoon Alabama’s Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus ordering the state’s probate judges to cease issuing same sex marriage licenses immediately, which would appear to be in defiance of previous federal rulings from U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. After being asked for a clear judicial ruling by the Alabama Policy Institute and the Alabama Citizens Action Program a little more than a week ago, the state’s highest court today issued a 150-page order effectively saying Alabama’s sanctity of marriage laws, which were overturned in Searcy...

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Probate judge’s same-sex adoption delay prompts more legal action

In court documents filed Friday, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis said his office would not finalize Mobile resident Cari Searcy’s request for adoption until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a federal ruling on the validity of same-sex marriages later this year. Those statements were made in an interlocutory order submitted by Davis Feb. 20, which will further delay Searcy’s decade-long attempt to adopt her partner Kimberly McKeand’s biological son — a legal process that ultimately led U.S. Judge Ginny Granade to overturn Alabama’s ban same-sex marriages earlier this year. After a two-week stay of Grande’s ruling and a...

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‘We have won:’ Federal judge orders probate court to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (updated)

U.S. District Court Judge Ginny Granade ruled this afternoon that Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis cannot withhold marriage licenses from applicants based on their sexual orientation. More than 100 spectators crowded Granade’s courtroom earlier to witness the “contempt of court hearing” against Davis, though Davis himself wasn’t present. The charge was filed in the case of Strawser v. Strange, which along with Searcy v. Strange declared the state’s laws forbidding same-sex marriages were unconstitutional. Davis was added as a defendant to the Strawser case Monday, after the local probate court stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples. In...

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Hearing could fix Mobile County’s ‘confusion’ of same-sex marriage laws

United States Judge Ginny Granade has scheduled a hearing at 1 p.m., Feb. 12, for a contempt of court charge that could finally give the Mobile County Probate Court some direction about whether to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The contempt charge was added yesterday to Strawser v. Strange, a second case establishing the two Alabama amendments defining marriage as exclusively between “one man and one woman” violated the U.S. Constitution. Similar to contempt charges Granade denied in Searcy v. Strange, Thursday’s hearing will focus on whether Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis’ decision to freeze the...

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Mobile County marriage office remains closed pending ‘further instructions’

Monday was supposed to mark the end of a 14-day stay issued by U.S. Judge Ginny Granade, that temporarily held off her Jan. 23 ruling outlawing a longstanding ban on same-sex marriages in Alabama. However, windows remain closed at the Mobile County Probate Courthouse, where same-sex couples have been waiting all morning and some even into the afternoon to obtain marriage licenses. A little after 2 p.m., Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis issued a press release stating the marriage office will be closed pending further instruction from higher courts. The full release from Davis reads: “In light of the conflicting orders being issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama and the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court I have, on advice of counsel, taken the following actions today: 1. ordered that the Marriage License Section of the Court’s Recording Division remain closed pending further instructions from the courts cited above; and 2. authorized attorneys for the Court to file an action with the Alabama Supreme Court seeking guidance and clarification as to the application of the “Administrative Order” issued by the Chief Justice both generally speaking and also more specifically in light of the action early this morning by the United States Supreme Court and the Motion for Contempt filed by the plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court action styled Searcy v....

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Mobile County Probate Courthouse windows still closed this morning; no couples issued marriage licenses (UPDATED)

As of 11:30 a.m., windows remain closed at the Mobile County Probate Courthouse, where same-sex couples have been waiting more than three hours to obtain marriage licenses. The windows normally open at 8 a.m. Feb. 9 was supposed to mark the end of a 14-day stay issued by U.S. Judge Ginny Granade, that temporarily held off her Jan. 23 ruling outlawing a longstanding ban on same-sex marriages in Alabama. Last week, Mobile Probate Court staff said marriage licenses would be issued today. Though several heterosexual couples were turned away as well, attorneys representing many of those attempting to obtain...

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