A Storm Is Coming To Alabama And It’s Waving A Rainbow Flag

Brace yourselves. A storm is coming to Alabama and it’s waving a rainbow flag.?Since Friday, a string of events have occurred regarding same-sex marriage.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

To everyone’s surprise, an Alabama federal judge struck down the ban on same-sex marriage last Friday. To make things even more interesting, the judge who struck down the ban is none other than the George W. Bush-appointed Judge Granade. In the case Searcy vs. Strange, Judge “Ginny” Granade of Mobile, AL struck down Alabama’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Even more surprising was the fact that Judge Granade didn’t place an immediate stay on the ruling. You can view her original 10-page ruling here.

As news quickly spread Friday night, more politicians took to social media to voice their support or lack thereof. Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard took to his official Facebook page to criticize the ruling.

“It is outrageous when a single unelected and unaccountable federal judge can overturn the will of millions of Alabamians who stand in firm support of the Sanctity of Marriage Act,”

“The Legislature will encourage a vigorous appeals process, and we will continue defending the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live.”

Since then, however, the post has been removed. It was probably because of the hypocrisy surrounding his “Christian conservative values” comment, considering that Hubbard was recently indicted on 23 felony corruption charges.

On Sunday, the Alabama Probate Court Judges Association advised counties not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Al Agricole, a lawyer representing the group, held a conference call on Sunday afternoon. During the conference, it was argued that the ruling only applies to adoption and the specific case of Searcy vs. Strange. When asked if other same-sex couples can get marriage licenses, they said it’s up to the individual probate judges. So basically, the original?ruling does affect all same-sex couples. The Alabama Probate Court Judges Association has no standing on this issue. They were just trying to confuse people and stall the process even more.?The Alabama Probate Court Judges Association was outright lying to people.

After Judge Granade’s ruling on Friday afternoon, same-sex couples were expecting to show up Monday morning to obtain marriage licenses. This victory was short lived because on Sunday night, Judge Granade stated that she would give the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals until Feb. 9 to decide whether gay marriages should continue to be delayed in the state. Granade did reiterate her support of her ruling with this statement:

“As long as a stay is in place, same-sex couples and their families remain in a state of limbo with respect to adoption, child care and custody, medical decisions, employment and health benefits, future tax implications, inheritance and many other rights associated with marriage.”

On Monday, the Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange asked the 11th Circuit to place a stay on the marriage ruling. Strange stated:

“The ‘fundamental right’ to marry does not exist for same-sex couples.”

As of now, a stay is in place until Feb. 9. Same-sex couples throughout Alabama are expected to be able to have the right to marry in two weeks.

As an Alabamian who has lived here my entire life, I am still in shock over this ruling. I never thought I’d see the day when same-sex marriage would be legal in the state of Alabama. It’s an historic moment, but I do fear the fallout from anti-gay politicians and citizens. A storm is coming – filled with controversy and condemnation in the name of God. Here’s hoping that another George Wallace situation won’t occur…

Caleb Woods is a Communications and English major. He is a reader, a writer, and an activist for LGBT rights, women’s rights, and the rights of the American people. He has lived in Alabama for his entire life and has experienced first-hand discrimination and bigotry. He hopes to change hearts and minds across the world so that people may show more compassion and empathy for their fellow man and woman. Click here if you'd like to donate money to Caleb's coffee fund.