(Mobile, AL, February 9, 2015)—Today, Alabama becomes the nation’s 38th state to honor the freedom to marry after a federal district court struck down the state’s marriage equality ban and ordered marriage equality to begin this morning.

Judge Granade of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Alabama issued orders on January 23 and 26 prohibiting Alabama from enforcing its marriage ban in two separate cases. The court temporarily stayed its orders until today.

The Alabama couples filed the legal challenges are Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand and James Strawser and John Humphrey, all of Mobile. Mobile attorneys Christine Hernandez and David Kennedy represent Searcy and McKeand. The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Birmingham attorney Heather Fann represent Strawser and Humphrey.

“We are thrilled that same-sex couples are now legally treated as equal citizens of this state,” said Searcy. “The only thing we have wanted from the beginning is to see a day when same-sex couples across Alabama no longer live in fear of the harms caused by the lack of equally protections. We are honored to be part of this historic moment. This is a great day, and we are grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make it possible.”

Added Strawser: “We got involved in this case because John was not allowed to be involved with my medical care when I was in the hospital. Being able to get married will give us so much peace of mind. It means that we don’t have to rely on legal documents that may or may not be honored. All we want is to be treated like any other married couple, and we are so happy that is going to be possible today.”

Learn about the Searcy v. Strange case.

Learn about the Strawser v. Strange case.