A federal judge on Wednesday issued an
order clarifying that her ruling striking down Alabama's gay marriage
ban applies statewide.
U.S. District Judge Callie “Ginny”
Granade declared unconstitutional a law and a constitutional
amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples in two separate
rulings handed down only days apart. Both rulings take effect on
Monday, February 9.
After issuing her first decision on
Friday, the Alabama Probate Judges Association declared that its
scope is limited to plaintiffs, a lesbian couple married in
California who wish their marriage to be recognized by the state so
that one of the women can legally adopt their son.
“There is nothing in the judge's
order that requires probate judges in Alabama to issue marriage
licenses to same-sex couples,” Al Agricola, attorney for the
Alabama Probate Judges Association, told Birmingham ABC affiliate
Plaintiffs asked Granade to respond.
“[I]f the stay is lifted, the
Judgment in this case makes it clear that [the law and constitutional
amendment] are unconstitutional because they violate the Due Process
Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Granade also highlighted U.S. District
Judge Robert Hinkle's recent ruling clarifying that his order
striking down Florida's ban was not limited to plaintiffs because it
voided the ban.
“The preliminary injunction now in
effect thus does not require the Clerk to issue licenses to other
applicants,” Hinkle wrote earlier this month. “But as set out in
the order that announced issuance of the preliminary injunction, the
Constitution requires the Clerk to issue such licenses.”
Shortly after Granade issued her
clarifying order, Monroe County Probate Judge Greg Norris, president
of the Probate Judges Association, said that the group will encourage
its member to follow the law.
The state has asked the Eleventh
Circuit Court of Appeals to stay Granade's ruling as it pursues an
appeal, but if history is a guide, the Eleventh Circuit, which
recently denied a similar request in Florida's case, is not likely to
stop the ruling from taking effect on February 9.