Marriage Equality USA

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State of Alabama
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Current Status

  • If you were denied a marriage license in your home county, you can contact the ACLU of Alabama at info@aclualabama.org or by calling 334-265-2754.Alabama.jpg
  • 3 cases in Federal District Court challenging the AL ban on marriage equality; in Searcy v. Strange (see below under LAWSUITS-PENDING) AG Luther Strange has submitted a request for appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
  • On 29 August 1996, Governor Fob James issued an executive order banning same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states or foreign countries.
  • Alabama law does not address discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Since 1994, Alabama has had a hate crimes law applicable to "race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability." The current law does not apply to crimes committed on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions, per legislation/referendum Amendment 774, from 2006-2015.
  • In April 2009, Representative Alvin Holmes introduced HB533, a bill that would have added sexual orientation to the list of hate crime categories. Representative Patricia Todd, the legislature's first and only openly‐LGBT member, unsuccessfully attempted to add gender identity to the bill. Holmes had introduced identical bills in previous sessions: HB829 (2008), HB247 (2007), HB57 (2006), HB423 (2001), HB85 (2000), and has pushed for the inclusion of sexual orientation in the hate crimes law since at least 1999. 
  • 23 January 2015, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade ruled that the Alabama ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, violating both the 14th Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. See Searcy v. Strange below.
  • 27 January 2015, State's reaction to same-sex marriage ruling embarrassing - By Josh Moon, Montgomery Advertiser
  • 7 February 2015, profile of Alabama District Court Judge Granade:  Activist judge? Careful jurist? Meet the woman who made gay marriage legal in Alabama - By Brendan Kirby, AL.com
  • 18 February 2015, 7 Alabama Counties Still Barring Marriage Equality - AP via News 5 WKRG 
  • 2 March 2015, An Alabama LGBT Family Can Finally Live Together as a Family - MEUSA News Blog
  • Technically/legally civil marriage equality was in effect at the state level from 9 February 2015 through 3 March 2015. (Meaning same-sex couples were legally allowed to marry statewide.) However, certain locales were still refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Be sure to keep up on what's going on legally via the legal cases listed under LAWSUITS-PENDING below.
  • 3 March 2015, in Alabama Policy Institute v. King (see below under LAWSUITS-PENDING), the Alabama Supreme Court granted the petition, issued a ruling upholding the state's marriage ban, and ordered judges to stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples. 4 March 2015, Alabama Supreme Court Throws Tantrum, Defies Federal Judge, Halts Marriages - By Mark Joseph Stern, Slate OUTWARD
  • 4 March 2015, Mobile County, Ala., stops issuing all marriage licenses after same-sex ruling - By Jay Reeves, AP via LGBTQNation

Legislation - Pending

None.

Legislation - Enacted

Alabama Amendment 774 - Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment

Author/Sponsor:
Date Introduced: April 2006
Date Enacted: 28 June 2006, after referendum was approved by voters and ratified (See BALLOT INITIATIVES-RESOLVED below.)

Description:

  • States that, "A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state."
  • Defines marriages as, "...a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman."
  • Further states that, "No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex," and that, "The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued."

Lawsuits - Pending

Searcy v. Davis

Case #: 1:15-cv-00104
Court Level: Federal District Court
Date Filed:
24 February 2015
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • 24 February 2015, in Searcy v. Davis Cari Searcy, plaintiff in Searcy v. Strange, is suing Mobile Probate Judge Don Davis over the unique condition he introduced into the interlocutory step-parent adoption order in Cari's case: "...Davis has 'qualified' his Interlocutory order specifically stating that 'it is further ORDERED by the Court that this Decree is qualified in nature, and the Court will not issue a final adoption order until a final ruling is issued in the United States Supreme Court on the Marriage Act cases before it."
  • The complaint, with request for injunctive relief, includes a copy of the adoption order.
  • 26 February 2015, the Searcy plaintiffs served Judge Davis with a subpoena.
  • 27 February 2015, Davis filed a Motion to quash the subpoena.
  • 27 February 2015, Davis filed a motion to dismiss and a brief in support of the motion.
  • 27 February 2015, Davis filed his opposition to a preliminary injunction.
  • 27 February 2015, Davis filed a Motion to Postpone the Searcy hearing set for Monday, 2 March 2015.
  • 27 February 2015, Davis filed a Motion to stay pretrial deadlines in Searcy, pending a ruling on the motion to dismiss.
  • 1 March 2015, the plaintiffs filed their opposition to postponing the hearing.
  • 2 March 2015, the Searcy hearing that was set for today at 1:00pm was postponed, pending a ruling on Judge Davis's motion to dismiss. Briefing schedule set on Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Quash:
    - Plaintiff's Response by Friday, 6 March 2015
    - Davis's Reply, if any, by Wednesday, 11 March 2015
  • 6 March 2015, plaintiff filed her opposition to Davis's motion to dismiss and her response to the motion to quash subpoena.
  • 11 March 2015, defendant Don Davis filed:
    1. Reply in support of Motion to Dismiss.
    2. Amended Motion to Dismiss in which he indicates he has amended the interlocutory adoption order and recused himself.
    3. Reply in support of motion to quash subpoena.
    NOTE: Wherever you see reference to attachments filed "under seal," it refers to fact Davis had requested the documents to be filed under seal, but in a docket-text-only order J. Granade denied the motion and had the attachments included in the publicly-available document saying, "The substance of the exhibits has been described by the defendant in his Reply filed this date, and because the name of the child is redacted in the filed exhibits, there is no need to keep them under seal in this lawsuit."
    In addition to the Davis filings, Judge Grenade set a status conference for Monday, 16 March 2015 at 1:00pm ET.
  • 13 March 2015, the plaintiff filed a motion to file a surreply (a response to Davis's reply); the surreply.
  • 16 March 2015, Judge Granade granted the request.
  • 16 March 2015, following today's status conference, Judge Granade set a schedule for briefing on any issues Plaintiff believes remain in the case. Plaintiff's brief due 31 March 2015, Davis response due 7 April 2015.
  • 25 March 2015, Don Davis filed his response to plaintiffs' motion to dismiss the case, supporting dismissal with prejudice (i.e., plaintiffs would be barred from bringing the same claim again).
Hathcote v. Green

Case #: 2:15-cv-00273
Court Level: Federal District Court
Date Filed:
17 February 2015
Date of Appeal:

Description:

Alabama Policy Institute v. King

Case #: 1140460
Court Level: Alabama Supreme Court
Date Filed: 
11 February 2015
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • 11 February 2015, the Liberty Counsel filed an emergency petition with the Alabama Supreme Court, asking the state's high court to order the probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses.
  • 13 February 2015, Equality Alabama filed an Amicus Brief urging dismissal of the Liberty Council petition.
  • 13 February 2015, the Court issued an order calling for responses
    - Answers due by 5:00pm 18 February 2015, Replies due by 5:00pm 20 February 2015. 
    - Respondents may also submit briefs accompanying their answers "addressing issues raised by the petition, including, but not limited to, any issue relating to standing or otherwise relating to this Court's subject-matter jurisdiction, and any issue relating to the showing necessary for temporary relief as requested in the petition." 
    - Two justices dissented as to the order requesting answers.
  • 13 February 2015, Equality Alabama filed an amicus brief urging dismissal of the Liberty Council petition.
  • 14 February 2015, Judge tangled up over tying the knot - By Monica Hesse, Washington Post (Told from the perspective of a conservative probate judge in Alabama.)
  • 17 February 2015, in Strawser v. Strange, see below, the plaintiffs filed an Emergency Motion for Enforcement of Injunction. The plaintiffs asked for an order from the federal court to enforce the injunction against the Attorney General. Specially, the plaintiffs asked the court to direct the AG to take control of the litigation going on in the Alabama Supreme Court in the name of the state "and to cause dismissal of the Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus forthwith." The plaintiffs' Motion cites Alabama case law standing for the proposition that "the Alabama Attorney General has the authority to direct and control any litigation 'that is filed in the State’s name and on its behalf to vindicate its policies and concerns'” and notes that the Liberty Counsel petition filed in the Alabama Supreme Court on behalf of two private advocacy organizations seeks “mandamus relief in the name of the State” against all Alabama probate judges.
  • 17 February 2015, J. Stanton Glasscox filed an amicus brief urging dismissal of the petition.
  • 17 February 2015, the Eagle Forum filed an amicus brief in support of the petition.
  • 18 February 2015, Joint Response from King and Ragland, two of the probate judges named in the petition. 18 February 2015, Joint Response from King and Ragland, two of the probate judges named in the petition. Response from Steven L. Reed, a judge named in the petition. Response from Don Davis who was not named in the petition. Response from John E. Enslen, Elmore County, named in the petition, and Response from Robert M. Martin, Chilton County, named in the petition. 
  • 19 February 2015, an Order from the Alabama Supreme Court extended the deadline for petitioners' replies from 5:00pm today to 10:00am (CT) Monday, 23 February 2015.
  • 23 February 2015, petitioner's Reply Brief was filed.
  • 3 March 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court granted the petition, issued a ruling upholding the state's marriage ban, and ordered judges to stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples. Oh brother, Alabama, Alabama - this may be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court - we'll see... Corrected pages for the 3 March 2015 opinion.
  • 4 March 2015, Alabama Supreme Court Throws Tantrum, Defies Federal Judge, Halts Marriages - By Mark Joseph Stern, Slate OUTWARD
  • 4 March 2015, Mobile County, Ala., stops issuing all marriage licenses after same-sex ruling - By Jay Reeves, AP via LGBTQNation
  • 5 March 2015, Mobile Probate Judge Don Davis filed a motion to extend the deadline for his letter brief until Monday, 16 March 2015. Also filed, a brief in support of the motion.
  • 5 March 2015, Davis filed a corrected brief in support of his motion.
  • 6 March 2015, Petitioners Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program Responded to Davis's Motion to Extend Time. "This Court should not relieve Judge Davis from its Mandamus Order based on such speculation.
    "Nor should this Court allow Judge Davis to continue to deny marriage licenses to those who seek natural, man-woman marriages in conformity with the Alabama Constitution and law. There is no basis for excusing Judge Davis from complying with Alabama law in the same manner as every other probate judge."
  • 10 March 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered Mobile Probate Judge Don Davis to not issue any marriage licenses to same-sex couples." On March 9, Judge Davis filed a "Response to Show Cause Order" in which he asserts that he should not be included in this Court's March 3 order out of concern that doing so would require him to violate the federal district court order previously entered in Strawser. Because we find Judge Davis's concern to be without merit, and for the additional reasons discussed below. Judge Davis's motion for extension is denied, and he is added as a respondent to this mandamus proceeding and is enjoined from issuing any further marriage licenses contrary to Alabama law."
  • 10 March 2015, Clarke County Probate Judge Valerie Bradford Davis filed her response to the petition, per the Court's Feb 3 order.
  • 12 March 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court issued its final order as to all probate judges in the state: "Having received no meritorious showing by any of the additional respondents as to why he or she should not be bound in the same manner as are the named respondents and Judge Davis, all respondents continue hereafter to be bound by the order of this Court. Accordingly, all probate judges in this State may issue marriage licenses only in accordance with Alabama law as described in our opinion of March 3, 2015." The relevant part of the March 3 order required probate judges "to discontinue the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples."
  • 17 March 2015, Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven L. Reed filed an Alabama Supreme Court mandamus petition. Judge Reed asked the AL Supreme Court to modify its order as to him to make clear that he can begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. Specifically, ...Judge Reed respectfully requests that this Court modify its order as stated above, by adding this provision: “This order shall be in force and effect, until and unless the Supreme Court of the United States issues an opinion which holds that a state law denying marriage to same-sex couples is unconstitutional.”
  • 20 March 2015, the Court rejected Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed's request to amend the order as to him to make clear that he can begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 29 June 2015, the Court issued an order which "invited [the parties] to submit any motions or briefs addressing the effect of the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell on this Court's existing orders in this case."
  • 6 July 2015, Responses were submitted for the June 29 order: Alabama Policy Institute’s Brief Addressing the Effect of Obergefell on this Court’s Existing Orders; Don Davis’s Brief; and Robert M. Martin’s Brief.
Hedgepeth v. Probate Court of Mobile County

Case #: 1:15-cv-00067-CG-C
Court Level: Federal District Court
Date Filed:
9 February 2015
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • This is a new Alabama marriage lawsuit brought in Mobile County, on behalf of 9 couples, by the same attorneys representing the Searcy plaintiffs.
  • 9 February 2015, Mobile Probate Court Judge Don Davis issued a Press Release.
  • 10 February 2015, the plaintiffs' request for immediate relief was denied, but they will be allowed to participate in the February 12 hearing in Strawser (immediately below.
    "Plaintiffs have not provided any affidavit evidence, did not file a verified complaint, and have not certified their efforts made to give notice and the reasons why it should not be required. Accordingly, to the extent Plaintiffs seek a TRO, the motion is DENIED."
    "[B]ecause Plaintiffs’ claims in this case are almost identical to another case currently set for a preliminary injunction hearing in this court and the result of that hearing may impact Plaintiffs in this case, the court will allow counsel for Plaintiffs to participate in that hearing."
  • 11 February 2015, The Alabama Supreme Court dismissed the petition of Mobile Probate Judge Don Davis, saying the petition "in substance is a question for an advisory opinion. [Alabama law] authorizes this Court to address requests for advisory opinions from only the Governor or the Legislature." Judge Davis had asked the Court to advise as to the scope of the "Administrative Order" Chief Justice Roy Moore released on Sunday evening advising the Probate Judges to not issue marriage licenses.The order includes a concurring opinion by Justice Bolin in which he lays the blame what he refers to as a "legal 'circus'" at the feet of everyone "save the Attorney General, who has properly requested a stay at all levels, and Justices Thomas and Scalia." Chief Justice Roy Moore recused himself from consideration of the petition.
  • 11 February 2015, the Liberty Counsel filed an emergency petition with the Alabama Supreme Court, asking the state's high court to order the probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses.
  • 13 February 2015, the parties stipulate to dismissal of the Mobile County defendants from the lawsuit. This leaves as defendants Governor Robert Bentley, Attorney General Luther Strange, and Chief Justice Roy Moore, all sued in both their individual and official capacities.
  • 18 February 2015, Governor Bentley filed a motion to dismiss himself as a defendant in the case.
  • 24 February 2015, the Attorney General filed a motion to dismiss the claims against him.
  • 24 February 2015, an Order was filed dismissing the County Defendants, per the parties' earlier joint stipulation.
  • 24 February 2015, a Preliminary Scheduling Order was filed.
  • 26 February 2015, Roy Moore filed his unopposed motion to extend the deadline for responding to the complaint.
  • 2 March 2015, a Briefing Order was filed directing the plaintiffs to file a response to AG Strange’s 2-24 motion to dismiss on or before 19 March 2015, and any reply by AG Strange in support of his motion must be filed by 26 March 2015.
  • 17 March 2015, Judge Roy Moore filed a Motion to Dismiss, and a brief in support of the motion.
  • 19 March 2015, the Court set a briefing schedule for Roy Moore's motion to dismiss.
  • 20 March 2015, Governor Bentley asked that his motion to dismiss be designated as unopposed, given that plaintiffs did not file a response by the 19 March 2015 deadline.
Strawser v. Strange

Case #: 14-0424-CG-C
Court Level: Federal District Court
Date Filed:
14 September 2014
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • This case involves an Alabama couple seeking the right to marry in the state of Alabama. The couple brought this case themselves, without legal counsel.
  • 26 January 2015, Judge Granade, who ruled in the Alabama case last week, issued a preliminary injunction in this case. The ruling is stayed for 14 days: "[T[he court hereby ORDERS that the Alabama Attorney General is prohibited from enforcing the Alabama laws which prohibit same sex marriage. This injunction binds the defendant and all his officers, agents, servants and employees, and others in active concert or participation with any of them, who would seek to enforce the marriage laws of Alabama which prohibit same-sex marriage."
  • 26 January 2015, the Attorney General filed a Notice of Appeal to the 11th Circuit.
  • 27 January 2015, the Attorney General filed a Motion for a Stay Pending Appeal.
  • 29 January 2015, the Alabama Probate Judges Association filed an amicus brief in this case and in Searcy, below, in support of a stay.
  • 30 January 2015, Governor Bentley filed an amicus brief in support of a stay.
  • 30 January 2015, the plaintiffs filed their Opposition to a Stay Pending Appeal.
  • 31 January 2015, courtesy of Kathleen Perrin, EQCF: "Although James Strawser and John Humphrey are now represented by attorneys from NCLR, these two men originally brought their claim to federal court without being represented by legal counsel. Here is the transcript from the hearing on 18 December 2014 on their motion for a preliminary injunction. Well done Misters Strawser and Humphrey! Thank you for standing up for all the couples who seek to be married in Alabama!"
  • 2 February 2015, the AG filed his reply in support of a stay pending appeal.
  • 2 February 2014, a Briefing Notice was issued. Opening Brief due 16 March 2015.
  • 3 February 2015, the Briefing Notice (immediately above) was rescinded due to being "issued in error."
  • 3 February 2015, 11th Circuit DENIED Stay pending appeal. The Court also consolidated this case and Searcy (below). 
  • 3 February 2015, NCLR Applauds Denial of Alabama’s Request to Extend Stay of Freedom to Marry Ruling - NCLR Press Release
  • 4 February 2015, the plaintiffs filed their Opposition to Application for Stay.
  • 5 February 2015, ADPH [Alabama Dept. of Public Health]issues new marriage certificates following court decisions - By Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser
  • 6 February 2015, Lyle Denniston reported on Twitter that there was nothing to be expected February 6th from the U.S. Supreme Court on Alabama. May not be anything over the weekend.
  • 8 February 2015, Judge Roy Moore issued an "Administrative Order" late Sunday saying, "Effective immediately, no Probate Judge of the State of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama Probate Judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent with" the Alabama law held to be unconstitutional by the federal court.
    "Should any Probate Judge of this state fail to follow the Constitution and statutes of Alabama as stated, it would be the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of the State of Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley, in whom the Constitution vests 'the supreme executive power of this state,' Art. V, § 113, Ala. Const. 1901, to ensure the execution of the law."
  • 8 February 2015, Statement from The National Center for Lesbian Rights's Chris Stoll, attorney for the Strawser plaintiffs: (Edited to correct name of case in which NCLR represents plaintiffs)
    "We hope and expect that all Alabama officials will comply with their obligations to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples when the existing stay expires. As Judge Granade’s January 29 order makes clear, officials who do not do so will be in violation of their obligations under the Constitution and subject to further court proceedings to enforce compliance.
    "Judge Moore's order does not relieve probate judges of their duty to follow the U.S. Constitution or of any remedies that a federal court may order as a result of their failure to comply with their constitutional obligations."
  • 9 February 2015, SCOTUS denied the stay, Thomas and Scalia dissented. NOTE: This doesn't mean the vote on the stay was 7-2. It means that at least 5 justices voted to deny the stay and Thomas and Scalia went on the record as voting for it.
  • 9 February 2015, Attorney General Luther Strange issued a statement today, following Chief Justice Roy Moore's "Administrative Order" issued last night.
  • 9 February 2015, Alabama Governor Bentley Issues Statement on Issuance of Same Sex Marriage Licenses - Office of Alabama Governor
  • 9 February 2015, Alabama Same-Sex Couples Ask Federal Court To Require Probate Judge To Issue Marriage Licenses - NCLR Press Release
  • 9 February 2015, the plaintiffs filed an Emergency Motion
    - For leave to file Amended Complaint, adding additional parties
    - For Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order
  • 10 February 2015, Attorney General's Response to Plaintiff's Motion seeking leave to amend complaint, preliminary injunction and/or TRO. Response is:
    - Does not oppose request to file an amended complaint
    - Takes no position on preliminary injunction/TRO against probate Judge Don Davis
    - Though motion appears not to seek additional relief against AG who is already subject to injunction, "out of abundance of caution" opposes only to extent motion might seek additional relieve against AG. "While Attorney General Strange respectfully disagrees with this Court’s earlier ruling, and has exercised his right to appeal, he is in full compliance with the Court’s orders."
    - Reiterates structure of Alabama government and that AG has no role in issuing marriage licenses, "has not prohibited officials from issuing such licenses, and is powerless to require them to do so."
  • 10 February 2015, the plaintiffs' motion to amend complaint, adding Mobile Probate Judge as a defendant was granted. Also, a hearing on the preliminary injunction is set for 12 February 2015, at 1:00 in Courtroom 2B, United States Courthouse, Mobile, Alabama.
  • 11 February 2015, the Liberty Counsel filed an emergency petition with the Alabama Supreme Court, asking the state's high court to order the probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses. See Alabama Policy Institute v. King, first case listed above.
  • 12 February 2015, ahead of today's hearing in Judge Granade's court, Defendant Mobile Probate Judge Don Davis filed a notice with information about the proceedings that have been/are before the Alabama Supreme Court.
  • 12 February 2015, NCLR on Twitter: Our #Alabama marriage plaintiffs and legal team outside fed court in #Mobile before hearing #Time4Marriage
  • 12 February 2015, update from Kathleen Perrin, EQCF: "Judge Granade did not rule from the bench; she will get out an order soon. There were a number of reporters live tweeting from the courthouse. The most important information that I gleaned from them were:
    - The attorney representing the Strawser plaintiffs (the one with amended complaint) said they are only seeking to add an additional defendant -- the Mobile Probate Judge Don Davis -- to the existing injunction.
    - Attorney for Don Davis says Davis takes "no position" on the preliminary injunction and is only seeking guidance
    The twitter accounts are here:
    https://twitter.com/KatiWeis
    https://twitter.com/ctoner
    https://twitter.com/Andrea_WPMI"
  • 12 February 2015, Preliminary Injunction extended to Mobile Probate Judge. "This injunction binds Judge Don Davis and all his officers, agents, servants and employees, and others in active concert or participation with any of them, who would seek to enforce the marriage laws of Alabama which prohibit or fail to recognize same-sex marriage."
  • 15 February 2015, Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King asked to intervene in this case. King has been issuing licenses since the stay expired Feb 9 and is one of the judges named in the Liberty Counsel petition to the Alabama Supreme Court. (See Alabama Policy Institute v King, first case listed above.)
    "Judge King faces an imminent risk of being subjected to a state court Order that will put him in the position of having to choose either to disregard the United State Constitution, which he is sworn to uphold, thereby subjecting him to liability .., or to disregard a state court Order thereby subjecting him to contempt proceedings, sanctions and/or possible impeachment under Alabama law. Judge King seeks relief from this Court."
    King doesn't specify what relief he seeks, but it would appear he would like to have an injunction naming him so that he can continue to issue licenses under a clear order from a federal court.
  • 17 February 2015, the plaintiffs filed an Emergency Motion for Enforcement of Injunction. The plaintiffs asked for an order from the federal court to enforce the injunction against the Attorney General. Specially, the plaintiffs asked the court to direct the AG to take control of the litigation going on in the Alabama Supreme Court in the name of the state "and to cause dismissal of the Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus forthwith." The plaintiffs' Motion cites Alabama case law standing for the proposition that "the Alabama Attorney General has the authority to direct and control any litigation 'that is filed in the State’s name and on its behalf to vindicate its policies and concerns'” and notes that the Liberty Counsel petition filed in the Alabama Supreme Court on behalf of two private advocacy organizations seeks “mandamus relief in the name of the State” against all Alabama probate judges.
  • 17 February 2015, proposed Intervenor Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
  • 17 February 2015, the State filed opposition to Judge King's intervention.
  • 17 February 2015, Judge King filed his reply in support of intervention.
  • 17 February 2015, AG Strange filed his opposition to the plaintiffs Motion for Enforcement.
  • 18 February 2015, the plaintiffs filed their Reply in support of their motion for an order of enforcement.
  • 20 February 2015, Judge Granade denied the plaintiffs' Motion for an enforcement order against the AG and the Jefferson Count Probate Judge Alan King's motion to intervene.
  • 24 February 2015, the Attorney General filed his Answer to the Amended Complaint. (Amended Complaint, approved on 10 February 2015.)
  • 2 March 2015, Davis filed his unopposed motion for extension of time.
  • 3 March 2015, The motion was granted, in a docket text order: "Endorsed Order GRANTING Dft Davis' 69 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Initial Responsive Pleading. Dft Davis is to file his initial responsive pleading no later than 4/3/2015. Signed by Judge Callie V. S. Granade on 3/3/2015. (tot) (Entered: 03/03/2015)"
  • 5 March 2015, Mobile Probate Judge Don Davis filed an emergency motion for stay of the preliminary injunction against him, saying he is "currently facing potentially conflicting orders from this Court and the Alabama Supreme Court." Additionally, he states he "has complied with this Court’s injunction and relief sought by the Plaintiffs in Strawser. The Plaintiffs in Strawser have all been provided marriage licenses. As the Plaintiffs have already received the specific relief they requested against Judge Davis, they would not be harmed by this Court’s decision to stay its order against Judge Davis until the United States Supreme Court rules and finally clears up this issue. No other aggrieved parties are currently before this Court."
  • 6 March 2015, Judge Granade ordered the plaintiffs to respond to Judge Davis's emergency motion for a stay by Friday, 13 March 2015.
  • 6 March 2015, NCLR asked the Court for permission to file a second amended complaint and to certify the case as a class action with the following classes:
    The Plaintiff Class is defined as: “All persons in Alabama who wish to obtain a marriage license in order to marry a person of the same sex and to have that marriage recognized under Alabama law, and who are unable to do so because of the enforcement of Alabama’s laws prohibiting the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples and barring recognition of their marriages.”
    The Defendant Class is defined as: “All Alabama county probate judges who are enforcing or in the future may enforce Alabama’s laws barring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples and refusing to recognize their marriages.”
  • 6 March 2015, LGBT Legal Groups Seeks Statewide Ruling In Alabama’s Federal Court Marriage Case - By Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed NEWS
  • 9 March 2015, the Attorney General filed his Opposition to the plaintiffs' motion to amend, certify classes, and preliminary injunction. CITING UNNECESSARY CHAOS CAUSED BY ORIGINAL SEARCY v. STRANGE RULING, AG STRANGE OPPOSES STRAWSER MOTION TO FORCE STATE’S PROBATE JUDGES TO GRANT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENSES - Attorney General's Office, State of Alabama
  • 13 March 2015, the plaintiffs filed their opposition to Mobile Probate Judge's motion for an emergency stay of Judge Granade's February 12 order.
  • 13 March 2015, Davis filed a supplement to his motion.
  • 16 March 2015, an Order was filed setting the deadline for Davis' response to the plaintiffs' motion for amended complaint seeking class certification, etc. Any response or objections to the motion are due Tuesday, 17 March 2015.
  • 16 March 2015, the plaintiffs filed their response to Davis's Supplement to his motion to stay. "Plaintiffs respectfully urge this Court to deny the motion to stay and to grant Plaintiffs’ motion to amend and to certify plaintiff and defendant classes and for a preliminary injunction that would bring about uniformity and certainty with respect to the obligations of probate judges, including Defendant Davis, to comply with the United States Constitution."
  • 16 March 2015, Judge Granade denied Davis's motion to stay her preliminary injunction order: "Although the court would agree that the developments in these same-sex marriage cases has at times seemed dizzying, the court finds that Judge Davis has not shown that a stay is warranted."
  • 17 March 2015, Judge Granade set a 23 March 2015 deadline for the Attorney General's response to plaintiffs' motions for class certification and preliminary injunction. NOTE: The AG responded to the motion to amend the complaint and titled the response “Opposition to Plaintiffs' motion for Leave to Amend, to Certify Classes, and for Preliminary Injunction" However, in that response, he noted:
    “Should this Court disagree and allow the amended complaint, then the Attorney General (along with the other defendants whenever they are served) will separately address Plaintiffs’ two requests for class certification and their request for a third preliminary injunction."
    Having not received that separate response, Judge Granade is now setting a deadline.
  • 17 March 2015, Davis filed his Opposition to the plaintiffs' motion to amend complaint, certify classes, and preliminary injunction.
  • 18 March 2015, Judge Granade granted the motion to amend the complaint, thus adding addition parties. She deferred any ruling on the class certification until briefing is complete on that issue.
    "Under Plaintiffs’ motion to amend, the court need only consider whether Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged class claims. Thus, although the court may dismiss class allegations “[w]here it is facially apparent from the pleadings that there is no ascertainable class,” [citation omitted] the court finds that the Plaintiffs in this case have alleged adequate facts to support a potential class claim and the court will not engage in a detailed and rigorous analysis of the class claims until all of the current parties have had the opportunity to oppose or support the motion for class certification.
    "There being no substantial reason to deny leave to amend, the court must allow the amendment. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file a second amended complaint (Doc. 76) is hereby GRANTED."
  • 23 March 2015, Attorney General Luther Strange filed his Opposition to the plaintiffs' motions for Class Certification and Preliminary Injunction. The plaintiffs' Reply is due Wednesday, 25 March 2015.
  • 10 April 2015, the plaintiffs filed their Opposition to the Attorney General's Motion to Dismiss and their Opposition to Mobile Probate Judge Don Davis's Motion to Dismiss. Also filed, Plaintiffs' Notice of Supplemental Authority in support of the class action certification, indicating that at least 545 same-sex couples married during the three weeks that marriage was available to them. "This newly released data supports Plaintiffs’ assertion that the proposed Plaintiff Class satisfies the numerosity requirement, and impracticality of joinder, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)." 
  • 10 April 2015, Baldwin County Probate Judge Tim Russell filed his Motion to Dismiss and a brief in support of the motion, and the plaintiffs' filed their Opposition.
  • 23 April 2015, orders were filed denying the defendants' motions to dismiss: Denial for AG Luther Strange, denial for Don Davis and Tim Russell.
  • 7 May 2015, the Attorney General filed his Answer to the 2nd Amended Complaint.
  • 13 May 2015, Baldwin County Probate Judge Tim Russell filed a motion requesting to file a reply in support of his motion alter, amend, or vacate.
  • 21 May 2015, Judge Granade granted class certification and a preliminary injunction, but stayed the injunction pending a ruling in the Supreme Court marriage cases.
  • 21 May 2015, Judge Grenade also denied Judge Russell's May 13 motion to alter, amend or vacate.
  • 1 July 2015, the Plaintiffs filed a motion asking Judge Granade to "clarify" that her preliminary injunction issued May 21 is currently in effect.
  • 1 July 2015, Judge Granade granted the motion and made it clear that the preliminary injunction is now in effect and binding on all Alabama Probate Court Judges.
  • 2 July 2015, Done Davis filed an amended motion to withdraw as class representative.
  • 6 July 2015, an Order was issued denying Davis’s request for a hearing on his motion to withdraw as a class representative.
  • 7 July 2015, the plaintiffs’ filed their Opposition to Don Davis’s Amended Motion to Withdraw as Class Representative.
  • 7 July 2015, defendants' Responses to Plaintiffs' Motion for a permanent injunction were filed: AG Luther Strange; Baldwin County Probate Judge Tim Russell, individually and as a class representative; and Alabama Probate Judges' opposition, arguing should be dismissed as moot.
  • 14 July 2015, the plaintiffs filed their Reply in support of Motion for Permanent Injunction and Final Judgment.
Aaron-Brush v. Strange (formerly Aaron-Brush v. Bentley)

Case #: 2:2014cv01091
Court Level: Federal District (11th)
Date Filed: 10 June 2014
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama filed a federal lawsuit in the Alabama Northern District Court challenging Alabama's ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
  • The lawsuit was filed on behalf of April and Ginger Aaron-Brush of Birmingham. The couple was wed in Massachusetts, but their marriage is not recognized in their home state.
  • 23 September 2014, the parties reached an agreement to dismiss the governor from the lawsuit.
  • 4 February 2015, the parties asked to have the deadline for dispositive motions, the pretrial conference, and trial date pushed back "in order to give the parties the benefit of having the Supreme Court’s opinion to incorporate" in any briefing.
  • 5 February 2015, Judge Proctor granted the request, setting a new July 31 deadline for dispositive motions and will set a pretrial conference date in a separate order.
  • 8 July 2015, From Equality Case Files: This case had been in a holding pattern (through extended deadlines) waiting for a decision by the Supreme Court. Yesterday, the parties filed a joint motion asking the Court to set a briefing schedule.
    "The parties are now in agreement that the Supreme Court’s [Obergefell] decision... conclusively resolves the legal issues in this case and that no further briefing on the merits is necessary.
    "However, the parties disagree as to the proper course of action at this time. Plaintiffs assert that they are entitled to a final judgment with permanent injunctive relief while Defendants assert that the case is now moot."
    The Court, in a docket text order, has scheduled a status conference, in chambers, at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 13, 2015, "The parties should be prepared to discuss how this case should proceed."
  • 16 July 2015, the defendants gave notice that although they do not agree with the S Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell, "it is the law of the land and is binding on them."
  • 19 July 2015, the plaintiffs filed their Response to the above notice.
  • 21 July 2015, the defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss.
  • 21 July 2015, in a docket text order, the Court ordered the plaintiffs to respond to the motion to dismiss by July 31; defendants may reply on or before August 10.
Searcy v. Strange (formerly Searcy et al. v. Bentley)

Case #: 1:14-cv-00208
Court Level: Federal District (11th)
Date Filed: 6 May 2014
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • A couple, married in California in 2008, and their minor child filed suit claiming violations of the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th amendment and the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • The non-biological mother wanted to use Alabama’s step-parent adoption statutes to adopt the child, but the AL statute only allows spouses to adopt.
  • 12 October 2012, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals upheld a decision by Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis to deny Searcy’s adoption petition. Although she has been with her partner, Kim McKeand, for 14 years – and legally married her in California in 2008 – the court ruled unanimously that Alabama law does not recognize same-sex unions.
  • 6 May 2014, lawyers representing the family challenging Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban filed a motion asking a federal judge to decide the case on the briefs alone, rather than going to trial. 
  • 17 October 2014, Attorney General Luther Strange's filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, a Memo in support of this motion and his opposition to the plaintiffs' motion, Exhibits, and Proposed Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law. (NOTE: The Baker v. Nelson Argument Against Marriage Equality Litigation by Professor of Law David B. Cruz, 3 September 2014.) 
  • 3 November 2014, the plaintiffs filed their Reply in support of summary judgment (and response opposing summary judgment for defendants).
  • 13 November 2014, the Attorney General filed his Sur-Reply in support of Summary Judgment. Note that the AG has added Loren Marks as his latest expert. Sherif Girgis was submitted on previous filings.
  • 23 January 2015, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade ruled that the Alabama ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, violating both the 14th Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. Woot!
  • 23 January 2015, Attorney General Luther Strange filed a motion for a stay.
  • 25 January 2015, the Alabama Probate Judges Association issued a statement on Friday's ruling: "As probate judges, our duty is to issue marriage licenses in accordance with Alabama law and that means we can not legally issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. The recent federal ruling does not change that,” says Judge Greg Norris, President of the Alabama Probate Judges Association. The full statement is included in this article, Probate Judges Association: ruling doesn't mean gay marriage legal in Alabama - By Megan Wiebold, WAAY TV
  • 25 January 2015, the plaintiffs filed their opposition to a stay and "specifically request Clarification of this Court’s Order as to the Implications to Other State Agents"
    "This further clarification is necessary as the Probate Judges association in Alabama have assumed the position like George Wallace at the schoolhouse door staring defiantly upon this Court’s order"
  • 25 January 2015, as promised, the Probate Judges Association filed a brief in support of a stay.
  • 25 January 2015, the Attorney General filed the official notice of appeal to the 11th Circuit. That was the first step in asking the appeals court for a stay.
  • 25 January 2015, Judge Granade issued 14 day stay: "IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Court’s Order of Injunction and Judgment (Docs. 53 & 54) are STAYED FOR 14 DAYS. If no action is taken by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to extend or lift the stay within that time period, this court’s stay will be lifted on February 9, 2105.[sic]"
  • 26 January 2015, the Attorney General filed a Motion for a Stay Pending Appeal to the 11th Circuit.
  • 26 January 2015, 2 men politely denied marriage license at Jefferson County probate office - By Kent Faulk, AL.com
  • 27 January 2015, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy S. Moore, sent a letter to AL Governor Robert Bentley re: the federal court ruling declaring Alabama's marriage bans unconstitutional. We don't even know where to begin... Kathleen Perrin of Equality Case files says that her synopsis of the letter is: "Those rulings are federal. This is Alabama. And 'The Bible.'"
  • 28 January 2015, an Order Clarifying Judgement was issued.
  • 28 January 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed an ethics complaint against Roy Moore.
  • 28 January 2015, Ethics Complaint Filed Against Alabama Anti-Gay Chief Justice Roy Moore - By David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement
  • 28 January 2015, well, well, whaddaya know? Alabama probate judges' group agrees decision voiding same-sex marriage ban applies to them - By Brendan Kirby, AL.com (See first entry for 25 January 2015, above.)
  • 29 January 2015, the plaintiffs filed their Response (opposition) to the motion for a stay pending appeal.
  • 29 January 2015, the Alabama Probate Judges Association filed an amicus brief in this case and in Strawser, first case listed above, in support of a stay.
  • 30 January 2015, Governor Bentley filed an amicus brief in support of a stay.
  • 2 February 2015, the AG filed his reply in support of a stay pending appeal.
  • 3 February 2015, the 11th Circuit DENIED Stay pending appeal. The Court also consolidated this case and Strawser (above).
  • 3 February 2015, the plaintiffs asked Judge Granade to lift the stay immediately.
  • 3 February 2015, Judge Granade denied the plaintiffs' request to immediately lift stay on marriage ruling. 
  • 3 February 2015, Governor Bentley asked to file an amicus brief in support of the request for a stay.
  • 3 February 2015, AG Strange applied to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay pending appeal in Strange v. Searcy et al., with attached exhibits. Per Kathleen Perrin of EQCF: "Justice Thomas is the justice for the 11th Circuit, so this application must be first directed to him. He has the option to act on it on his own or refer it to the full court for a decision. Because other stay applications have been referred to the court, I think referral is most likely here. A couple of points of procedure worth noting:
    1. It's not unusual to first see an order asking for responses issued by the circuit justice (here, Thomas) even though the application ultimately gets referred to the full court. If such an order is issued, don't take it to mean that Thomas is necessarily deciding this on his own. We usually don't know that an application has been referred until the final order comes out.
    2. Thomas could choose to issue a temporary stay that would remain in place until such time as we get a final ruling on this application. I would guess it to be highly likely if we were on a tighter schedule, with the stay due to expire within a day or two. However, with the stay not expiring until next week, it might be less likely to happen. But, again, if a temporary stay does go into place, it should not necessarily be read as an indication of the final decision, nor that Thomas is deciding this on his own."
  • 4 February 2015, the 11th Circuit is putting the Alabama and Florida appeals on hold and "any other current or future appeals that are filed in this Court raising the same or similar issues," pending a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in the marriage cases.
  • 4 February 2015, the plaintiffs filed their Opposition to Application for Stay.
  • 5 February 2015, ADPH [Alabama Dept. of Public Health]issues new marriage certificates following court decisions - By Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser
  • 6 February 2015, Lyle Denniston reported on Twitter that there was nothing to be expected February 6th from the U.S. Supreme Court on Alabama. May not be anything over the weekend.
  • 8 February 2015, Judge Roy Moore issued an "Administrative Order" late Sunday saying, "Effective immediately, no Probate Judge of the State of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama Probate Judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent with" the Alabama law held to be unconstitutional by the federal court.
    "Should any Probate Judge of this state fail to follow the Constitution and statutes of Alabama as stated, it would be the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of the State of Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley, in whom the Constitution vests 'the supreme executive power of this state,' Art. V, § 113, Ala. Const. 1901, to ensure the execution of the law."
  • 8 February 2015, Statement from The National Center for Lesbian Rights's Chris Stoll, attorney for the Strawser plaintiffs: (Edited to correct name of case in which NCLR represents plaintiffs)
    "We hope and expect that all Alabama officials will comply with their obligations to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples when the existing stay expires. As Judge Granade’s January 29 order makes clear, officials who do not do so will be in violation of their obligations under the Constitution and subject to further court proceedings to enforce compliance.
    "Judge Moore's order does not relieve probate judges of their duty to follow the U.S. Constitution or of any remedies that a federal court may order as a result of their failure to comply with their constitutional obligations."
  • 9 February 2015, SCOTUS denied the stay, Thomas and Scalia dissented. NOTE: This doesn't mean the vote on the stay was 7-2. It means that at least 5 justices voted to deny the stay and Thomas and Scalia went on the record as voting for it.
  • 9 February 2015, Attorney General Luther Strange issued a statement today, following Chief Justice Roy Moore's "Administrative Order" issued last night.
  • 9 February 2015, the plaintiffs' attorneys filed a motion for contempt and immediate relief. The motion asks Judge Granade to "immediately issue an Order declaring the Honorable Don Davis to be in contempt, to further order law enforcement to open the marriage license division of Mobile County Probate Court, impose sanctions against the Honorable Don Davis, and any such further legal remedies this Court deems appropriate and just, the premises considered."
  • 9 February 2015, Alabama Governor Bentley Issues Statement on Issuance of Same Sex Marriage Licenses - Office of Alabama Governor
  • 9 February 2015, the plaintiffs' motion for contempt and immediate relief was denied: "Probate Judge Don Davis is not a party in this case and the Order of January 23, 2015, did not directly order Davis to do anything."
  • 10 February 2015, Lambda Legal to Alabama Probate Judges: Ignore Chief Justice Roy Moore - Public letter from Lambda Legal 
  • 11 February 2015, the Liberty Counsel filed an emergency petition with the Alabama Supreme Court, asking the state's high court to order the probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses. See Alabama Policy Institute v. King, first case listed above.
  • 20 February 2015, Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a second letter to the Probate Judge in Houston County, Alabama, calling on Judge Davenport to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
  • 25 February 2015, a hearing has been set on the motion for preliminary injunction - SCHEDULED for Monday, 2 March 2015, at 1:00pm, in Courtroom 2B, United States Courthouse, Mobile, Alabama.
  • 2 March 2015, the hearing that was set for today at 1:00pm was postponed, pending a ruling on Judge Davis's motion to dismiss. (See Searcy v. Davis, first case listed above.) Briefing schedule set on Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Quash:
    - Plaintiff's Response by Friday, 6 March 2015
    - Davis's Reply, if any, by Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Shrie Michelle Richmond & Kirsten Allysse Richmond v. Madison County Circuit Clerk

Case #:
Court Level: State Trial Court
Date Filed: March 2013
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • Shrie Richmond and Kirsten Richmond filed to have their 2012 marriage in Iowa recognized and to be granted a divorce.
  • 12 March 2014, Madison County Circuit Judge Karen Hall denied the divorce.
  • The case is under appeal.

Lawsuits - Resolved

Hard v. Bentley 

Case #: 213-CV-00922
Court Level: Federal District (11th)
Date Filed: 16 December 2013
Date of Ruling: 29 July 2015

Description:

  • SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) filed a federal lawsuit to: (1) overturn the 1998 AL law and the 2005 AL constitutional amendment which ban same-gender civil marriage; (2) issue a revised Death Certificate for Charles Fancher showing Paul Hard as the surviving spouse, based on their 2011 MA marriage; and (3) disburse the proceeds of a wrongful death suit to Paul Hard.
  • 20 March 2014, Ms. Pat Fancher, mother of Charles Fancher, asked to intervene because (a) she opposes same-gender civil marriage; and (b) she wants to remain her deceased son’s next of kin and receive all the wrongful death proceeds of his estate.
  • 21 October 2014, the plaintiff filed his Reply in support of summary judgment (and in opposition to summary judgment for defendant), as well as an Affidavit in Support of the Reply. The affidavit includes an attached transcript of the plaintiffs' attorney in the DeBoer trial challenging designation of Sherrif Girgis as an expert witness.
  • 29 October 2014, the state defendants filed their Sur-Reply in support of summary judgment in their favor (and in opposition to summary judgment for the plaintiff), as did Defendant-Intervenor Pat Fancher.
  • 21 November 2014, Paul Hard received a letter from the Social Security Administration saying they won't pay his husband's death benefit because, "you are not Charles David Fancher's widower." Real people, Real impact, Real pain. Our thoughts are with Mr. Hard. This letter refers to a small benefit, Paul wants to be clear that the issue is not the money, it is being told that Charles and he were not husbands.
  • 2 December 2014, One year later, suit over marriage ban still pending - By Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser
  • 16 December 2014, the plaintiff submitted his Second Supplemental Notice - Compilation of Post-Windsor Marriage Decisions
  • 6 February 2015, plaintiff Paul Hard's mother-in-law Pat Fancher, who is opposing Paul's claim for recognition of his marriage to her son David, asked the district court to rule on her motion for summary judgement.
  • 9 February 2015, Paul Hard received an amended death certificate from the state; the new certificate recognizes Paul as David's surviving spouse. Alabama recognizes SPLC client Paul Hard as surviving spouse on husband’s death certificate - Southern Poverty Law Center
  • 23 February 2015, Richard Lohr, as Administrator of David Fancher's estate, and the law firm that is his counsel of record, asked to intervene in the case for the limited purpose of paying the disputed wrongful death settlement funds into the Court so that the Court can take charge of disbursing the funds after it determines who is entitled to them.
  • 24 February 2015, the Court approved the motion to intervene for the limited purpose of putting the proceeds of the wrongful death suit in the care of the Court. It will be held in an account under the Court's control until further order.
  • 10 March 2015, Governor Bentley's motion to dismiss him as a defendant was granted and the case was stayed "until further order of this court, which further order in any event will not precede a definitive ruling from the United States Supreme Court" in the marriage cases. "Governor Bentley’s motion to dismiss is ... granted on the basis of his entitlement to sovereign immunity and because Plaintiff lacks Article III standing to sue the Governor." The remaining defendants are the Attorney General and, as Defendant-Intervenor, Pat Fancher. Richard Lohr, administrator of David's estate, also recently joined as an intervenor, but only for the limited purpose of depositing funds with the Court.
  • 30 June 2015, the plaintiff filed a Motion to lift the stay, enter summary judgment for plaintiff, and distribute funds to Plaintiff Paul Hard.
  • 14 July 2015, the defendants filed their Response to the plaintiffs’ Motion to Lift Stay, Enter Summary Judgment, and Distribute Funds.
  • 14 July 2015, the Court issued an Order on the pending motions: the Plaintiff's motion to lift stay and disburse funds was granted; the Parties' cross-motions for summary judgment were denied; the Attorney General's motion to dismiss based on mootness was granted.
    "Counsel for Plaintiff and for the Estate of David Fancher are DIRECTED to file a statement on or before July 20, 2015, advising the court how the Clerk of the Court should disburse the funds."
  • 15 July 2015, from Equality Case Files: Intervenor Pat Fancher is not giving up: Intervenor Pat Fancher's motion to set aside order of dismissal and renewed prayer for relief. "The issue is not whether same-sex marriage is legal in Alabama today. The issue is whether same-sex marriage was legal in Alabama on the day David Fancher died, because whatever legal relationship Paul Hard and David Fancher enjoyed, ended the day David Fancher died. If Alabama law did not recognize their relationship as a marriage on the day David Fancher died, then Paul Hard was not a spouse and is not a surviving spouse -- unless Obergefell is given retroactive effect."
  • 20 July 2015, the plaintiff filed his Statement Regarding the Disbursement of Funds.
  • 20 July 2015, the Court ordered the plaintiff to respond to Pat Fancher's motion to set aside the order of dismissal by July 20; the Attorney General may respond but is not required to do so.
  • 20 July 2015, the plaintiff filed his Response, his Opposition to Motion for Reconsideration.
  • 27 July 2015, Intervenor Pat Fancher filed a memo in further support of her motion for reconsideration.
  • 29 July 2015, an Order was issued denying Pat Fancher's July 15 motion to set aside the order of dismissal; the final Judgement in this case was issued; and, the Clerk of the Court was directed to disburse funds to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Client Trust Account in the amount of "$552,956.69, plus ninety percent of all interest earned to date that is due for distribution to Plaintiff Paul Hard." (the other 10% of interest is payable to court as a fee for handling the funds).

Ballot Initiatives - Pending

None.

Ballot Initiatives - Passed

Amendment 774 - Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment

Purpose of Ballot Measure: To amend the state constitution to ban marriage equality and civil unions. (See LEGISLATION-ENACTED above.)
Date Passed: 6 June 2006

Description:

  • The amendment passed by 81%.
  • The amendment won in every county.
  • The passage of the amendment made Alabama the 20th state to adopt a constitutional marriage amendment. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polls

  • September 2014, a non-scientific, informal online poll shows that the respondents are split 50-50 in support of, and opposed to, the legalization of same-sex marriage. Poll Details
  • April 2013 per the Williams Institute, support for marriage equality has doubled in Alabama in the past 8 years, with 32% of the population now supporting marriage. In 2004, just 16% were supportive. Poll Details