New Marriage Equality Legal Threats a Deliberate Tactic to Create Chaos

MONTGOMERY—Today, HRC Alabama urged Governor Robert Bentley, Attorney General Luther Strange and every member of the Alabama Supreme Court to provide critical leadership in light of a trumped-up new case in the state court system.  Last week, anti-LGBT activists filed an emergency petition to the Alabama Supreme Court, hoping to halt marriage equality across the state. On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court voted 6-2 to take up the petition, and has given the two anti-LGBT groups seeking the action, the Alabama Policy Institute (API) and the Alabama Citizens Action Plan (ALCAP), until 5:00pm today to submit responses to the court for review.

“It’s deja vu all over again,” said HRC Alabama Director R. Ashley Jackson. “This new case is nothing more than an attempt to drag Alabama back toward the chaos of last week. This new case before the Alabama supreme court has absolutely zero legal basis, and we’re calling on the Governor, the Attorney General and the Alabama supreme court justices to rein in Chief Justice Roy Moore, follow the law, do the right thing and reject this scurrilous attempt to stop marriages in Alabama.”

Much of the existing confusion has been caused by Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has repeatedly attempted to block probate judges from complying with a federal ruling striking down the state’s discriminatory same-sex marriage ban. In response to Judge Moore’s anti-LGBT efforts, HRC Alabama collected and delivered 28,000 petitions, urging the Judicial Inquiry Commission to conduct a full ethics investigation. The petitions are in support of the ethics complaint submitted to the commission earlier this month by the Southern Poverty Law Center. An excerpt of the petition is below.

 

“By continuing to recognize Alabama's unconstitutional same-sex marriage ban, Chief Justice Moore has done a disservice to the American judicial system and the people of Alabama. As a Justice in Alabama's highest state court, he is obligated to be impartial and uphold the law without prejudice.”

 

Since marriages began in Alabama on February 9, HRC Alabama is tracking which counties are providing access to marriage equality for same-sex couples. Below is the latest tally of counties granting marriage certificates to LGBT people.

 

Issuing to all couples:

Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Blount, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, Dekalb, Elmore,Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Green, Hale, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Russell, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox and Winston.

83 % of population

48 counties

Were slated to start on 2/16 but didn’t

Marion, Marshall

3%

2

Issuing to only straight couples:

Chambers, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne. Covington, Escambia (was issuing to gay couples last week, but stopped), Houston, Marengo, Pickens, Shelby, Washington.

10%

11

Not issuing licenses to any couples:

Bibb, Clarke, Geneva, Pike, Randolph, Walker.

4%

6

Current as of 11:00 a.m. 2/18/2015

Total:

100%

67

 

 

HRC Alabama is working to advance equality for LGBT Alabamians who have no state or municipal level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; nor state protections from hate crimes. Through HRC Alabama, we are working toward a future of fairness every day—changing hearts, minds and laws as we seek to achieve full equality.

 

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