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Alabama officials to appeal marriage case to Eleventh Circuit UPDATE: state asks for stay

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

State officials in Alabama have just filed their notice of appeal in Searcy v. Strange, officially noting that the case will move to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The state has 14 days to ask the appeals court to stay the case pending the outcome of the appeal, after the district court granted only a temporary stay.

It’s not clear yet what the appeals court will do with any stay request. They denied a similar request by officials in Florida, allowing that state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Florida then asked the Supreme Court for a stay, and that request was denied as well.

The denials in the Florida case occurred before the Court granted review in four marriage cases from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. If they follow along their current trend, they would deny a stay if the Eleventh Circuit also declines to grant the request.

UPDATE: As expected, the state has filed a request for a stay pending appeal.

Thanks to Equality Case FilesK/a> for these filings

69 Comments

  • 1. BillinNO  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:04 am

    So, while the District Court judge issued a 14 day stay, the effect of the state having requested a stay from the 11th Circuit means that that court could short-circuit the 14 day stay imposed by District Court by flatly denying the request for stay at the appeals court level, and the good gay people of Alabama could theoretically be marrying each other by week's end? Maybe? Right?

  • 2. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:10 am

    They haven't yet asked the Eleventh Circuit for a stay. It's expected to happen soon though.

    But no, if, say, they asked for a stay today and it's denied tomorrow… we would have to wait the rest of the 14 days unless the plaintiffs could convince the district court judge to dissolve the temporary stay before then. Sadly.

  • 3. hopalongcassidy  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

    But it seems reasonable (to me anyway) that if the 11th denies, that would be a pretty powerful signal to the district court that it's ok to lift it, doncha think?

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I think the court would probably be inclined to see if it is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. Once the Court denies it, the district court may very well dissolve the stay.

  • 5. jpmassar  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I'm confused. Scottie, you wrote elsewhere that the stay order by the District Judge said

    "Accordingly, although no indefinite stay issues today, the court will allow the Attorney General time to present his arguments to the Eleventh Circuit so that the appeals court can decide whether to dissolve or continue the stay pending appeal (assuming there will be an appeal.)"

    So it seems like the appeals court could dissolve the stay before the 14 days are up, no?

  • 6. BillinNO  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Thanks Scottie, I know its silly to play "if, then", but if the 11th does slap 'em down, mightn't the judge lift her stay? She did sort of shoot from the hip by ruling on the motions , not wasting anyone's time with silly arguments. With Alabama, as with Louisiana it is deeply personal- its finally, FINALLY beginning to be about my friends, my neighbors, and the people I love. Fourteen days seems like an eternity right now.

  • 7. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I think that probably means the appeals court could make a decision, but their decision can be taken to SCOTUS, either way. So if they deny a stay the state can ask SCOTUS, or if they dissolve it, the state can go to SCOTUS.

    I took the district court judge to be saying she's giving them 14 days to go up the chain and see if the stay is ultimately granted or dissolved. I mean I guess a literal reading of that could mean the appeals court can dissolve the stay, but I don't see how that could be the end of it. The appeals court can't forbid the state from going to SCOTUS or something.

  • 8. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I know what you mean, I live here in Alabama and this has been hard to deal with. I guess we'll see what happens.

  • 9. Eric  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:29 am

    The judge already admitted that the state didn't meet the standard for a stay, then issued one anyway. Why would you expect the judge to be reasonable?

    Plaintiffs should challenge the stay.

  • 10. Eric  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:30 am

    If the judge didn't issue the stay for a rational reason, why would the judge lift it for one?

  • 11. Scottie Thomaston  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:32 am

    The judge determined they didn't meet the standard for a stay pending appeal so they actually denied that. They granted a 14 day temp stay just in case the Eleventh Circuit or SCOTUS disagrees with them. I don't think that's entirely unreasonable (although I think she should have declined to put marriages on hold even for one day.)

  • 12. BillinNO  |  January 26, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I wish the judge had also used her announcement of a stay to pointedly comment that it would give the registrars time to print some new forms etc.

  • 13. 1grod  |  January 26, 2015 at 9:03 am

    The judge received the brief from the Association of Probate Judges, and the requests from the plaintiffs to address the Associations' interpretation of her order. IMO she put 'the judges' and others on notice: "Prior to the 14-day stay’s expiration, the court will issue a separate order addressing plaintiffs’ request for clarification of the court’s injunction order". The court WILL ISSUE suggests to me that she expects the State will appeal the temporary stay, and the Appeals Court would deny a stay. G

  • 14. Steve27516  |  January 26, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Scottie – I realize I'm a faceless username in the etherworld, but nevertheless, I want to say congratulations to Alabama and most especially to you. You have done a lot for all of us in your extended EoT family, and I'm very happy for you. Thank you, Scottie!

  • 15. Sagesse  |  January 26, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Thoughts on the cake baking business. Literally, food for thought (or is that a misuse of the word 'literally'?)

    My Big Fat Anti-Gay Wedding Cake: When Haters Cry Discrimination [Daily Beast]
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/26/

  • 16. sfbob  |  January 26, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I was surprised that the state accepted the complaint. However that doesn't mean they're going to cite the bakery since the bakery did not refuse the business of the couple (if such a couple really exists) who wanted "God Hates Gays" written on their wedding cake. They merely refused to include on the cake a message they took to be offensive. Lest anyone be concerned about the First Amendment it is well to keep in mind the First Amendment applies to suppression of speech by government, not by private individuals or businesses. Having agreed to bake the cake it would seem to me that the bakery is well within their rights to decline to write a specific message on that cake. One has to ask why anyone would want such a thing written on their wedding cake in the first place.

  • 17. Mike_Baltimore  |  January 26, 2015 at 10:38 am

    What I think any bakeries should do in the future when asked to put offensive language on a cake (wedding, birthday, etc.) is to bake the cake, then hand over to the customer (at cost and a markup) all the materials to finish the cake as the customer wants, along with a note that the cake's intended words (or whatever) offends the bakery.

    I'm sure any bakery doing that would do land office business (/sarcasm). After all, the order for the cake is for suing, and they got what they ordered. And on what grounds would the bigots have to sue the bakery? Non-delivery of what was ordered?

  • 18. RnL2008  |  January 26, 2015 at 10:45 am

    From all accounts, the man asking for the cakes was just looking to cause a negative reaction from the Baker and Staff, which he GOT none every time he came in. the Baker and Staff, treated him professionally and with respect…….they agreed to make both of the cakes he wanted, and were willing to supply everything he needed to add the wording, but that wasn't good enough for him……so he filed the complaint hoping to get his 15 minutes of fame and show just how intolerant pro-gay businesses were and that DIDN'T happen.

    Personally, the man should be fined for creating a hostile situation…….but what he'll probably get is NOTHING, which will make him upset…….this is the first actual complaint, but it's not the first time anti-gay folks have been doing this so that they can show how intolerant folks are towards Christians……it's a bad tactic that is being done in support of the Colorado baker!!!

  • 19. guitaristbl  |  January 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Wow they are not wasting a single minute, are they ? They have 14 days and their request for stay and appeal notice are ready already. Which probably means they are not that well thought I assume ? I won't bother reading the request, sorry, just wait for the actions of the 11th.

  • 20. Raga  |  January 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    "Now, unlike then, we know that the Supreme Court will tell us, within six months, whether states must recognize same-sex marriages."

    Not really. SCOTUS can do what SCOTUS wants. Granting cert doesn't mean a certainty of a ruling on the merits. Among the wide array of options available to them, they can DIG (unlikely) or they can order reargument (remember Citizens United?) which would carry over the case into the subsequent term. (I think even the judge made this mistake in her opinion last Friday.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._F

    And the Sixth Circuit marriage cases have every potential to facilitate a repeat performance of what happened during Citizens United (for the right or wrong reasons):

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signor

  • 21. Rick55845  |  January 26, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I really hope that the final decision hinges on 14th amendment due process or equal protection, and not on failing rational basis. I think I'd prefer a 5-4 vote with Kennedy writing for the majority than a 6-3 or other vote that includes Chief Justice Roberts in the majority. Because if that happens, as the huffington post article you linked to suggests, then Roberts is likely to write the opinion and narrow it as much he can.

  • 22. Raga  |  January 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Even if Roberts writes a narrow opinion for a 6-3 majority, Kennedy and the liberals (still a majority) are totally free to write a concurring opinion that could argue a different rationale, possibly heightened scrutiny on equal protection grounds (which would have a far reaching effect on other gay rights issues).

  • 23. Decided_Voter  |  January 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you. That's exactly the question I was going to ask. I wonder why Art Leonard and/or the Signorile article you linked to didn't acknowledge that? I've seen that written a few times about Roberts writing an opinion for a 6-3 majority, and it's misleading as, you point out, the 5 in the majority could write a stronger opinion if they wish.

  • 24. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    "…. the district court judge [is] saying she's giving them 14 days to go up the chain and see if the stay is ultimately granted or dissolved."

    Yes, correct. The stay will be for 14 days, just like Judge Hinkle's was set for 91 days from the denial of certiorari (i.e., final disposal) of the cases from Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Utah. It was thus set to auto-disolve at the COB on 5 January 2015. In the Florida case, Bondi kept requesting a permanent stay extension until final disposal, and was told, "No," "No," and "No." In the Alabama case, Strange is requesting a permanent stay until final disposal (not a definitive time extension). So far, he's been told, "No, you get 14 days." I expect that neither the 11th Circuit Court nor the Supreme Court will alter that time-limit, by either extending the time, or by foreshortening/dissolving it. After 14 days, as Tony pointed out, it will auto-dissolve.

  • 25. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    "The court WILL ISSUE suggests to me that she expects the State will appeal the temporary stay, and the Appeals Court would deny a stay …."

    Yes, I'm in agreement with you, the judge, and everyone else in favor of marriage equality. She WILL ISSUE her "Orders of Clarification" quite similarly to Judge Hinkle, as both decisions were preliminary injunctions, so she, like him, is able to modify, clarify, and spell out in the simplest, most straight-forward manner possible all the consequences that could befall any official who might choose to disregard the court order.

  • 26. Eric  |  January 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    If the standard for a stay is not met, how is it reasonable to deny citizens their fundamental rights?

  • 27. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    '…. they are not that well-thought [out] …."

    Nothing presented and filed by the state of Alabama is ever well-thought out.

    Did you see/read the amateurish ridiculousness I posted in last night's thread, as to the state of Alabama's official list of reasons as to why they feel their current statutory/constitutional prohibition on marriage between same-sex couples is fully justified? Their childish insanity was filed in August 2014 in a brief in the wrongful death suit, "Hard v. Bentley."

    The horse manure is the official list of reasons. The critique [in brackets] is mine. I mean, seriously, starting off with their invented "office" of father and "office" of mother??? Really??? And gays don't have extended families??? Really???

  • 28. A_Jayne  |  January 26, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    If the commission tosses his complaint as frivolous, can he be made to pay legal costs incurred by the bakery?

  • 29. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Eric, this is Alabama.

    Alabama, where it "only" took 3 years, and a separate federal lawsuit in the wake of the decision in "Loving v. Virginia" (1967), i.e., "United States v. Brittain," (1970) before a mixed-race couple from Anniston AL was finally issued a marriage license.

    Alabama, where it "only" took an additional 30 years (2000) before the permanently enjoined anti-miscegenation laws were finally removed from the books.

    I'm not saying it's reasonable. I'm just saying it's Alabama.

  • 30. RnL2008  |  January 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Could, but seeing as I'm not a lawyer……that might best be asked to someone who can better answer your question.

  • 31. Zack12  |  January 26, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Indeed, I'm actually surprised the reaction hasn't been worse.

  • 32. Rick55845  |  January 26, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    My understanding (but IANAL) is that a concurring opinion doesn't make law or set precedent, Decided_Voter. It can't be cited as binding precedent.

    I can see how a concurring opinion joined by several Justices could help support arguments in a subsequent case. A judge hearing a case might find it persuasive and might use it to help him reach a ruling. Even dissenting opinions can have that effect. Witness the repeated trolling of Scalia by many of the judges who ruled in favor of ME. Scalia basically explained to all of them how to go about overturning the bans.

    Perhaps Raga can explain further how a concurring opinion that argues a different rationale, such as heightened scrutiny on equal protection grounds, would have a far reaching effect on other gay rights issues.

  • 33. Chuck_in_PA  |  January 26, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    If Kennedy and the 4 liberals are in agreement, would not their majority opinion be the opinion of the court and Roberts individual opinion be considered to be a concurrence? After all, the 5 justices in agreement become the majority, and the senior judge of those 5 would then be the one to assign the writing task.

  • 34. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    "Witness the repeated trolling of Scalia by many of the judges who ruled in favor of ME. Scalia basically explained to all of them how to go about overturning the bans."

    Yes, indeed, Rick. Once in a great while, Scalia's opinion (albeit, written in the form of a series of hysterically histrionic dissents) is actually useful for some legitimate purpose.

  • 35. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    That man, is a real world version of a blog troll. He is trolling to prove a point be it a stupid point and see if he can start gathering support… enough to start a movement and gain some exposure and notoriety. Hopefully the commission will simply dismis this piece of trash for what he is.

  • 36. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    that's exactly what this baker did.

  • 37. RnL2008  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Yep, and he came back several times to see if the Baker or Staff would treat him in a negative way, but they didn't and were very helpful in trying to accommodate him and his stupid azz request.

  • 38. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    A majority is a majority, which in this case, is 5. Thus, that's the binding, precedent-setting majority opinion, written by the Justice assigned to the task by the most-senior Justice of the majority. The stray, extra, concurring opinion, is just that, the concurring opinion. In the instance cited, Roberts would simply be writing a concurring opinion, concurring with the majority. But his opinion would not be controlling.

  • 39. Raga  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    A concurring opinion with 5 justices is still a majority of the Court. That was my basis for why it would be binding. I don't know if there has ever been such a scenario, so perhaps I'm wrong. IANAL either, so somebody with legal experience, please clarify.

  • 40. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Zack, this is still Alabama. It's not over until the fat lady sings.

    On the other hand, the Jefferson County (Birmingham) Probate Judge did want to remind everyone yesterday not to expect a repeat of any kind of scene reminiscent of "George Wallace in the school house door." His words, not mine. At least not in Jefferson County.

    And the Montgomery County (Montgomery) Probate Judge stated he would have been good-to-go with marriage equality first thing this morning. No cattle-prods needed, thank you very much.

    So, yes, there have been a few changes since the Civil Rights era. But the politicians are still mostly the same kind of blow-hards who talk in their time-proven "code" and whip the low-information trailer trash into a frenzy.

  • 41. Raga  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    It depends (and I'm speculating here). Let's say all six agree that the bans do not survive rational basis review. Then, Roberts could assign the writing to himself, and it would be the narrowest possible opinion. The other five could decide that sexual orientation is also a suspect class and hence warrants heightened scrutiny, and could write separately. (In the Ninth Circuit, Reinhardt wrote the majority opinion using heightened scrutiny, and also wrote a separate concurring opinion that additionally argued strict scrutiny.)

    I guess it boils down to this – when all the justices that agree on the outcome want to go to different lengths on the rationale (e.g., all agree that bans fail rational basis, but only some agree that in addition, it is time that sexual orientation is formally declared a quasi-suspect class), there are multiple majorities – and so, would the largest majority be considered the majority opinion, and the rest concurring opinions?

    Maybe I'm putting way too much thought into this to the point where I'm confusing myself!

  • 42. Zack12  |  January 26, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I expect there will be foot dragging by many of the bigoted probate judges.
    That has happened every place there has been marriage equality, and in the case of one town in NY, is STILL happening.
    http://gaycitynews.nyc/upstate-town-clerk-continu

  • 43. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Zack, I can only report on 3 of the 67 in Alabama, the two above, plus Mobile County. There, the Probate Judge is awaiting further guidance (which has not been forthcoming) from the Alabama AG.

    However, in the push for marriage equality, we've seen multiple instance in which one clerk/probate judge takes the lead in issuing marriage licenses, even if just publicly announcing their intentions, then others will follow. Remember Salt Lake County UT, Carroll County AR, Ingham and Washtenaw Counties MI, Boulder County CO, Marion and Monroe Counties IN, Dane and Milwaukee Counties WI, St. Louis City MO, Johnson County KS, Charleston County SC, and Osceola County FL, among others. To this list we can now add Montgomery County AL.

  • 44. Raga  |  January 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Here's an article on concurring and plurality opinions that I found an illuminating read. (It still doesn't go so far as to address the possibility of multiple majority opinions.)

    http://pennstatelawreview.org/articles/113%20Penn

  • 45. Raga  |  January 26, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Upon giving this more thought it seems to me you are right – Kennedy and the liberals will be the majority and if this majority declares sexual orientation a quasi-suspect class deserving of heightened scrutiny in Section X and strikes down the bans on rational basis anyway in Section Y, then Roberts would simply join the majority only on Section Y, and perhaps even dissent from them on Section X. This would be the clean way to do it.

    So it would seem that if Kennedy and the liberals have their minds set on a broader ruling, there is nothing Roberts can do to narrow the majority opinion by joining that majority – contrary to the HuffPost article.

  • 46. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    "…. there is nothing Roberts can do to narrow the majority opinion by joining that majority…"

    Correct. If Roberts wants to write a narrow, concurring opinion, he can do so. However, as long as the other 5 are in agreement with a broader opinion, that's the majority opinion, and thus, that becomes the binding, preceent-setting opinion. It would be scored 5-1-3, or 5-1-1-2, if Alito were to write a low-key dissent, or even 5-2-2, if Roberts were to write a concurring opinion so narrow that even Alito could sign on to it.

    And of course, without question, freed of Alito, Scalia will be compelled to write his histrionically flaming dissent in disagreement, a dissent to which only one other party could possibly agree.

  • 47. VIRick  |  January 26, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Despite the postponement, (due to the temporary 14-day stay), two women went to the Calhoun County Courthouse in Anniston on Monday (26 January 2015) trying to obtain a marriage license, said Probate Judge Alice Martin. They were refused, she said. “They were aware that the stay was in effect,” said Martin. “I think they mainly just came in to inquire.”

    Two men showed up at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham seeking a license and were denied, said Probate Judge Alan King.

    The president of the state probate judge’s association, Monroe County Probate Judge Greg Norris, said he hadn’t heard of any problems or confusion over whether counties should issue licenses to same-sex couples. But county officials will have work to do, should same-sex unions begin in the state, he said. “Our license application forms say ‘bride’ and ‘groom.’ We’ll have to figure out what to do about that,” said Norris.

  • 48. RnL2008  |  January 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    The forms are an easy fix…….replace Groom and Bride with Person 1 Data with a box to check for Groom or Bride and for Person 2 Data….repeat the steps like for Person 1. That way, either person can be Person 1 and either person can be Person 2. Along with this new format…….allow the couple to decide on what they want their last name to be. The bride can take the groom's last name, the couple can hyphen their last names or they can pick a new last name……pay the fee and off they go…….when California first changed their license, they adopted the format used in Massachusetts, but after Prop 8 passed, they went back to the original format and then the State adopted the format with the check boxes…….seems to work here!!

  • 49. Chuck_in_PA  |  January 27, 2015 at 5:11 am

    It's been a long time since I dropped out of law school in 1979 after 1-1/2 years of that torture, but I do remember some Con Law from my rigorous teacher, Prof. Greene (graduate of Hastings). So, Roberts is limited to persuasion as his only possible means to narrow the final opinion if the 5 justices we are counting on stick together and grant us a broad ruling.

  • 50. Rick55845  |  January 27, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Thank you Raga, and Rick, for following that research and thought process out, and explaining it so well. It makes sense to me, but the standard IANAL disclaimer still holds.

    It would still be great if a lawyer with some experience in this area would weigh in, or perhaps a long-time court watcher (Lyle Denniston?).

  • 51. Sagesse  |  January 27, 2015 at 6:06 am

    “Our license application forms say ‘bride’ and ‘groom.’ We’ll have to figure out what to do about that,

    Change them?

  • 52. 1grod  |  January 27, 2015 at 7:25 am

    The States Stay requests states: There are several same-sex marriage cases pending in Alabama’s other district courts and those judges, including other judges in the district court at issue here, are not bound by the lower court’s decision in this case. Can this statement be clarified for me. G

  • 53. Sagesse  |  January 27, 2015 at 7:38 am

    They're suggesting that if one of the other cases upholds the ban, there will be confusion over what the state should do, since neither judgment binds the other. It's a speculative argument.

    The answer is to deal with it if and when it happens. It is not really a reason to stay Judge Grenade's ruling.

  • 54. FredDorner  |  January 27, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Note that the same judge just ruled for marriage equality in a separate case today, where the couple had been denied a license by the state (the first case concerned recognition). There's a stay until Feb 9th.
    http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2015/01/s

    This is going to piss off the bible-babblers.

  • 55. Sagesse  |  January 27, 2015 at 8:54 am

    This is a celebration case, so both recognition and celebration are now covered :).

  • 56. Rick55845  |  January 27, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for posting that Fred. And here we are now with the marriage performance case we needed that wasn't addressed by the Searcy ruling. And it's another ruling by District Judge Callie V.S. "Ginny" Granade. All bases in Alabama are covered now.

    This is worthy of a separate thread. I bet Scottie will be posting one.

  • 57. DrBriCA  |  January 27, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Awesome! Strike two!

  • 58. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 27, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I have read the entire brief to the 11th Circuit. Everything in it has been previously rejected by more than one court. The reasons presented by the state literally made me see red.

    I hope the plaintiff's get their opposition response in quickly, and that the circuit denies the requested stay.

  • 59. ReadLearn  |  January 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Have been reading the comments on Al.com . Very depressing. So much bigotry and hate in the name of "religion" down there.

  • 60. ReadLearn  |  January 27, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Again, this is Alabama. It won't be anything like Utah or even Florida. There is so much hate speech in the comment sections of Al.com, and so much ignorance coming from the elected officials, most recently the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (I know he doesn't have the power in this case, but he doesn't seem to know that.) We are going to see nasty behavior out of Alabama, such as we have not seen before in other states.

  • 61. ReadLearn  |  January 27, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    "figure out what to do about that." LOL. That should only take them about a year in Alabama. White out?

  • 62. ReadLearn  |  January 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Scottie, what part of the state, if you don't mind my asking. I am wondering about how people are reacting to this down there? I have been reading Al.com and there seems to be so much bigotry, but perhaps those are just the people posting on the site.

  • 63. Rick55845  |  January 27, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    In New Mexico, where my husband and I were married, the forms just use the gender and role neutral term "spouse". I would suggest that would be the simplest way to change the forms.

  • 64. VIRick  |  January 27, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    As a former resident of Jacksonville FL, I am keenly aware of some of the shit people can pull, especially in the piney woods area of northern Florida, an area extending all the way across the northern tier for 450 miles, and on into Alabama.

    We don't refer to the Florida panhandle as South Alabama simply to amuse ourselves.

    But you are right. Florida itself was ridiculous enough. Alabama will be worse.

  • 65. VIRick  |  January 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Sagesse, you talking to the president of the state probate judge’s association, Monroe County Probate Judge Greg Norris,

    Monroe County AL is a low-population, rural Alabama county, just north of Baldwin County (on the Gulf) in the Alabama piney woods where the word, "change," isn't in the vocabulary.

  • 66. VIRick  |  January 27, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Rick, thanks for that insight, as the gender-neutral terms explain why a number of news outlets were having difficulty analyzing marriage records in New Mexico to determine the precise impact of same-sex couples travelling to New Mexico to get married during the first year of legalization. Plus, many people's first names do not always make it obvious as to whether they are male or female. Still, the easiest answer was this: In places like Santa Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque, the number of applicants seeking a marriage license more than doubled, while the number of out-of-staters from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, etc., went through the roof.

  • 67. Rick55845  |  January 27, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Rick, in March of last year, Bernalillo County Municipal Court Judge Jason Greenlee, who officiated our wedding, told us that the courts and judges in Albuquerque had seen a steadily rising stream of same-sex couples coming from Texas and other surrounding states to get married there in the few short months since the New Mexico Supreme Court required all county clerks to issue marriage licenses to qualified same-sex couples. He told us he felt it was the right thing for us, a good thing for Albuquerque, and a pleasure for him to officiate our weddings.

  • 68. VIRick  |  January 27, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    "The State's Stay request states: There are several same-sex marriage cases pending in Alabama’s other district courts and those judges, including other judges in the district court at issue here, are not bound by the lower court’s decision in this case."

    The state is blowing smoke up your ass. The Circuit Court judges know better (and don't appreciate smoke being blown up their ass, either), as this is a line of reasoning has no merit. It will be rejected.

    Alabama (like many states) is sub-divided into 3 Federal District Court districts:
    Northern (Birmingham)
    Middle (Montgomery)
    Southern (Mobile)
    A federal decision rendered by any federal District Court judge in ANY of the 3 districts, binds all federal judges in all 3 districts state-wide. Period.

    This line of argument has already been attempted in both Texas and Florida (two other states with multiple District Court districts), and was summarily rejected by the Court in both instances.

  • 69. micha1976  |  January 28, 2015 at 2:08 am

    If these two decisions by Judge Granade go into effect (the stay is dissolved), these other cases should be moot, right? Those plaintiffs then can marry (or have their marriages recognized), assuming Judge Granade clarifies the scope of her ruling…

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