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Alabama updates 4/14

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Alabama state sealSeveral things have been filed in Strawser v. Strange, the potential class-action challenge to Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban. So far, Judge Granade has not ruled on the request to certify the plaintiffs and defendants as a class, a step that would turn the case into a class-action affecting same-sex couples across the state.

– The plaintiffs, represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), filed their opposition to Attorney General Luther Strange’s motion to dismiss the case. They argue that the AG has said all along that he’s the proper defendant in the case, so the motion to dismiss the claims against him make no sense.

– The plaintiffs filed their opposition to Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis’ motion to dismiss. Davis argued the claims against him should be dismissed for a variety of reasons: qualified immunity, judicial immunity, standing, and several doctrines. He also argued that the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision requiring probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples should prevent the federal courts from getting involved. The plaintiffs disagree with all those contentions.

– Baldwin County’s probate judge filed a motion to dismiss and a brief in support that’s substantially similar to the other parties’ motion to dismiss. There’s nothing new in the motion, and the plaintiffs’ opposition brief is only six pages. The plaintiffs are asking that these motions to dismiss don’t delay the decision on the request for class-certification.

EqualityOnTrial is watching the docket and we’ll report back if any new orders are issued.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. 1grod  |  April 14, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Probate Judge Tim Russell of Baldwin Co, in his 18 page submission and motion to dismiss, describes himself as the 'the putative class representative' of the other 66 probate judges to Judge C Granade's Court in Strawser v Strange. Is it fair to think that his views represents those of the other judges with the exception of Don Davis?

  • 2. 1grod  |  April 14, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Probate Judge Tim Russell's reasons which were similar arguments of Don Davis but in a different order:
    1) Judge Russell and all other probate judges in the state of Alabama are subject to a binding order issued by the Alabama Supreme Court enjoining them from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
    A. The Anti-Injunction Act bars any relief.
    B. This Court does not have the jurisdiction to overrule the Alabama Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    2) Judge Russell is entitled to absolute quasi-judicial immunity.
    3) Plaintiffs do not have standing to bring these claims against Judge Russell
    4) The principles of comity and federalism militate in favor of the dismissal of the claims against Judge Russell or, in the alternative, for a stay of further proceedings.
    Don't get confused when reading the text, Tim has difficulty numbering, there being two # IIIs

  • 3. OrvilleKlutz  |  April 15, 2015 at 10:21 am

    The U.S. Supreme Court will soon issue an order that invalidates the Alabama Supreme Court's order.

  • 4. 1grod  |  April 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Orville: My question is:- given that neither the State, Elmore Co. Probate Judge John Enslen, Jefferson Co Probate Judge Alan King, Chilton Co Probate Judge Robert Martin, Madison Co Probate Judge Tommy Ragland, Montgomery Co Probate Judge Steve Reed or other probate judges, the Alabama Policy Institute nor Alabama Citizens Action Program has appeals the March 3th ruling of the AL Supreme Court [ <a href="http://,” target=”_blank”>, ] and nor has AG Strange who in the matter of a stay of Searcy 1 had appealed the District Court's stay to the 11th Circuit Appeals Courts and to the US Supreme Court; what was the mechanism used for the US Supreme Court to initiate a review? Have I missed someone advancing a petition of certiorari, and the granting there of? If you win can you appeal? When you say "SOON", what time frame are you meaning?

  • 5. sfbob  |  April 15, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I assume "soon" means "on or about the end of June."

  • 6. OrvilleKlutz  |  April 16, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Absolutely. The 6th Circuit Court ruled against Marriage Equality and pushed it to SCOTUS. The other Circuit Courts of Appeals ruled in favor of Marriage Equality and some of their states filed appeals against Marriage Equality to SCOTUS. SCOTUS denied these appeals which indicates SCOTUS is supporting Marriage Equality. SCOTUS will hear the cases for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals which pertain to two subjects:
    1: Should a state be required to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples?
    2. Should a state be required to recognize same-gender married couples from other states.
    Due to the discriminatory ruling against LGBTs by the 6th Circuit Court Judges, it is unlikely that SCOTUS will accept their ruling as it is against the SCOTUS rulings since they overturned section 3 of DOMA in 2013.

  • 7. 1grod  |  April 17, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Perhaps "New Rights Leader" Roy Moore's views are reflected in Tim Russell's reply. At 11:00 this morning, in Montgomery on the steps of the AL Supreme Court Building, Judge Moore is being recognized for his "dedication to justice and natural law" with the Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage Award, given on the anniversary of date on the 21 page letter. More specifically the chief justice is being recognized for "making a principled and persuasive stand for marriage, Justice Moore has singled himself out as someone who is ready to defend our most cherished values and help lead this new civil rights movement." Is this the same individual as the much maligned jerk occasionally mentioned on this site?… For those who want to understand more about this 'prestigious' award:
    George Orwell – are you listening? I'm sure readers could imagine an accurate name for the award Roy deserves.

  • 8. F_Young  |  April 17, 2015 at 8:03 am

    African American Pastor Group Uses MLK To Honor Roy Moore & Justify Marriage Discrimination

    One of the worst things about being a dead famous person is the general public's propensity to put words in your mouth to serve their own agendas. It happens all the time with Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and now, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    In a breathtaking bit of irony, the Coalition of African-American Pastors is set to honor Alabama's Chief Justice Roy Moore with the newly-created "Letter from a Birmingham Jail Courage Award."

    …..You almost have to marvel at the choice to use MLK's beloved "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" to justify discrimination. Have they actually read it?

    …..Marriage equality isn't an issue that Dr. King addressed, but his wife, Coretta Scott King did:

    "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union," she said. "A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."

  • 9. 1grod  |  April 17, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Chief Judge Moore says that the Court can't "properly function " and is being singled out for budget cuts: If he had not led the Court's crusade against same gender marriage which brought negative press about his state, and reinforced a backwater stereotype, finances would not be projected to be as tight. Doubtful Roy Moore is capable of connecting the dots. Perhaps he could get some assistance in doing so from Indiana's Governor Mike Pence.

  • 10. 1grod  |  April 21, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Bigot Roy Moore no "New Leader for Civil Rights" and Alabama was the last state in the country to strike its ban on interracial marriage from its books – in 2000.

  • 11. F_Young  |  April 14, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Why This Pastor Who Tried To Assassinate Hitler Has Become A Hero To The Anti-LGBT Movement

    …as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments on a landmark case involving same-sex marriage later this month, anti-LGBT Christians are issuing a call to arms by invoking an unlikely hero: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a prominent German pastor and theologian who was famously murdered for participating in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler during World War II.

    …..Mat Staver, founder of the conservative Liberty Counsel law firm, echoed Scarborough’s reference to the famous Christian thinker moments later, proclaiming “this is indeed a Bonhoeffer moment.”

    …..there are obvious historical differences between Bonhoeffer’s context and that of today’s anti-LGBT Christians.

    …..there is still the lingering question of whether or not Bonhoeffer would have opposed same-sex marriage.

    …..many scholars believe the famed theologian was gay.

    So, let me get this straight. Is the Liberty Counsel founder saying that killing Obama would be morally justified, to the same extent as killing HItler was justified?

  • 12. sfbob  |  April 14, 2015 at 9:20 am

    This sort of thing is morally on par with invoking the legacy of MLK, Jr in opposition LGBT equality.

  • 13. Eric  |  April 14, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Oh, I took the statement to mean that it is moral to kill Christians that are persecuting homosexuals (e.g., Hitler).

  • 14. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  April 14, 2015 at 10:01 am

    What is taking Granade so long?! Pull the pin and throw already! 😛

  • 15. 1grod  |  April 14, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Wolf, to be fair, Judge Granade had to hear from Strange, Davis and Russell as a proxy for the other judges, and possibly a response/rejoinder from the plaintiffs. WHICH AS OF YESTERDAY SHE HAS them all. AG Strange and Judge Davis asked for an opportunity to make oral argument which she ought to consider as all the defendants have suggested the case be dismissed. There are two decisions here, granting class action status, and finally a determination on merits. Either side will appeal. On merits, we already know that the 11th Circuit in Searcy1 has put off advancing the case until the Supreme Court rules on Obergefell. Happened again today in the First Circuit. As to the matter of Judge Granade issuing a stay, either way, it too will be appealed to the Eleventh Circuit. Based on their earlier determination, it would be expected to not support a stay. But that was February 3, this is April 13th. All this will take time – likely into May. "So long?" —- there are optics in the feds and state judges being perceived as singing from the same hymnal if not being on the same page. What Tim Russell plead is [please] don't make 68 on us have to choose which 'Order' we choose to obey – all for the want of a few weeks. Has the judge's surname suggested to you a 'pin and throw' ACTION or might that notion be a simple manifestation of the last past of your moniker: 'raging fires'? We already saw 51/67 judges willing to comply, and others preparing to do so. 545 marriage in-state celebrations recognized by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Its desirable that all 68 are not still shell shocked when the equality decision comes down.

  • 16. OrvilleKlutz  |  April 15, 2015 at 10:24 am

    And when SCOTUS rules in favor of marriage equality across the land theThe Alabama AG will not understand and say – "that is Strange!". :>)

  • 17. 1grod  |  April 15, 2015 at 6:27 am

    New Bill HB491 Introduced April 14 in the Alabama House.
    This bill would give health care providers the following: The authority to refuse to perform or to participate in health care services that violate their conscience; immunity from civil, criminal, or administrative liability for refusing to provide or participate in a health care service that violates their conscience.
    This bill would declare it unlawful for any person to discriminate against health care providers who decline to participate in a health care service that violates their conscience.
    Stay updated on the status of this bill here with Equality Alabama.…/

  • 18. StraightDave  |  April 17, 2015 at 8:50 am

    What about the patients' right to refuse to work with discriminatory health care providers that violate *their* conscience? Kinda one-sided you think?

    Suppose an employer chooses to change providers for a company-sponsored healthcare plan so that their employees can continue to receive the full range of services it wants them to have available? Are they gonna get arrested? What the hell?

    Stuff like this is so completely brain-dead, and will bring corporate wrath down on their heads like Indiana. The animus just oozes out of those state buildings…. or maybe gushes in some cases. Did they not notice Gov Pence's approval just plummet like a stone?

    I thought I was already far too cynical about AL and it neighbors. Now I think I'm being too nice to them.

  • 19. 1grod  |  April 22, 2015 at 7:05 am

    AL Senate prays for God's forgiven for allowing 545 ssm.

  • 20. David_Midvale_UT  |  April 22, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Alabama hypocrites obviously have learned nothing in the years since George "Segregation Forever" Wallace was governor. At least George, always a political opportunist, changed his tune later.

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