Today the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by Alabama state officials to stay a recent ruling striking down the state’s ban on marriage equality.

This may seem like a simple, procedural move—one the Supreme Court has made in the past in cases ranging from Alaska to Florida. But, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) notes, all those denials took place before the Court had agreed to take a marriage case. The decision to allow marriages to begin in Alabama means something dramatically different now that the Supreme Court oral arguments in a marriage case are just weeks away. 

“By refusing to halt marriage licenses in Alabama, the Supreme Court has telegraphed that there is virtually zero risk that they will issue an anti-equality ruling this summer,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Instead, the odds of a ruling bringing marriage equality to all 50 states have increased significantly.

In light of the Supreme Court’s action today, marriage equality will be the law of the land in Alabama beginning on February 9th, 2015. On January 28th, the Alabama Probate Judges Association issued guidance to all parties that, “on the occasion that the stay is lifted, same sex couples may apply for marriage licenses."

HRC congratulates the countless committed and loving couples in Alabama that will soon be able to marry.

And to the couples in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan:

Start your wedding plans now.


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