(Mobile, AL, February 12, 2015)—United States District Judge Callie V. S. Granade heard oral argument today in an emergency motion filed by four same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses on Monday when marriage equality began in the state. Judge Granade said she will issue her decision as soon as possible.
Late Monday, the four same-sex couples filed the motion asking Judge Granade to instruct Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as Judge Granade previously ordered in her decision striking down the state’s marriage equality ban.
The Alabama couples are James Strawser and John Humphrey, who previously obtained a ruling from Judge Granade declaring that Alabama’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional, Meredith Miller and Anna Lisa Carmichael, Robert Povilat and Milton Persinger, and Kristy Simmons and Marshay Safford. The couples are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Birmingham attorney Heather Fann, and the ACLU of Alabama.
“We’re thankful the court has moved quickly to hear our case, which affects so many families across the state,” said Strawser. “We are confident the judge will give our request the consideration it deserves, and we look forward to the court’s decision.”
In January, Judge Granade held that Alabama’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage are unconstitutional and may no longer be enforced. Judge Granade’s order was set to go into effect on February 9, permitting same-sex couples across the state to marry.
While some Alabama counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple on that day, others—including Mobile County—did not, citing an “administrative order” by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, instructing probate judges not to comply with Judge Granade’s order.