The likelihood that the state of
Alabama will begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Monday
became more certain on Tuesday when an appeals court refused to delay
implementation of a federal judge's rulings striking down the state's
ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Callie “Ginny”
Granade found the state's ban unconstitutional in two cases, which
she stayed until Monday, February 9.
Alabama officials turned to the
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, asking it to stay
Granade's rulings as the state pursues an appeal.
“The Attorney General of the State of
Alabama's motions for a stay pending appeal are DENIED,” the court
wrote in a
“We are pleased that the Eleventh
Circuit recognized there is no reason to further delay full equality
for all Alabama couples,” said Christopher Stoll, senior staff
attorney for NCLR, which is representing plaintiffs in one of the
cases. “Each day that committed couples are denied the freedom to
marry, they are left without important legal protections that offer a
safety net in times of illness or financial hardship. Now that the
court of appeals has spoken, all Alabama couples can enjoy the
freedom to marry next Monday.”
Officials are likely to turn to the
Supreme Court, which has not halted similar rulings in other states
since October 6, the day it refused to hear appeals in cases
challenging bans in five states. Most recently, the high court
refused to set aside a ruling ordering Florida to begin issuing
marriage licenses to gay couples.
(Brief provided by Equality