(MOBILE, Ala., June 26, 2015)– Four civil rights groups representing Alabama same-sex couples in a federal lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry demanded today that probate judges immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as required by an order issued by a federal judge in Mobile earlier this year.
A letter to attorneys representing all of the state’s probate judges demanded that they “confirm no later than 1 p.m. Monday, June 29, that all probate judges have been notified of their obligations under the injunction to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.” The groups said they “reserve the right to seek appropriate remedies against members of the Defendant Class who remain in violation of the injunction.”
All Alabama probate judges were directed in May to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples effective immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling affirming marriage equality.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which represent the plaintiff couples in the Alabama federal case, sent today’s demand.
The federal lawsuit—Strawser v. Strange—was brought by five same-sex couples. It initially resulted in an order from U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade requiring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Mobile County, which was expanded statewide. A violation of that directive may result in a party being held liable for contempt of court, attorneys’ fees, or other sanctions as determined by the court.