An Alabama lesbian couple on Wednesday
filed a federal lawsuit challenging a part of the state's ban on gay
Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand have
been together for over 15 years. They exchanged vows in California
in September of 2008.
In 2005, McKeand gave birth to the
couple's son, K.S. In 2012, a state judge denied Searcy's request to
adopt K.S. Judge Don Davis determined that Searcy is not a “spouse”
of McKeand. Alabama law provides that couples must be married in
order to adopt their partner's children.
The women are asking the court to
recognize their California marriage so that Searcy may adopt K.S.
“There is no articulable reason why
Searcy is not allowed to adopt K.S. other than the fact that she is a
woman married to another woman,” the
In a press release announcing the
said: “I am a parent in every way to our son, but legally I am
still considered a stranger. We just want our son to have the same
protections and securities as other Alabama families.”
“Because the legislature and the
state government refuses to recognize the marriage of same sex
couples; the little boy born to this married couple, has been denied
the right and protection to have two legally recognized parents,”
said Christine Hernandez, an attorney representing the couple. “A
law that is based on irrational prejudice with no legitimate purpose
lawsuit is the second to challenge Alabama's 2005 voter-approved
constitutional amendment which outlaws same-sex marriages from being
performed or recognized in the state.