[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] Tuesday that challenges Alabama's same-sex marriage ban. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of April Aaron-Brush and Ginger Aaron Brush, a same-sex couple who were legally married in Massachusetts in June 2012. The lawsuit specifically challenges Section 36.03 [text] of the Alabama Constitution and Ala. Code § 30-1-19 [text], both of which prohibit same-sex marriage in the state of Alabama. In the complaint, the ACLU stated:
The refusal to recognize Plaintiffs' marriage undermines the couple's ability to achieve their life goals and dreams, threatens their mutual economic stability, and denies them "a dignity and status of immense import." ... They and their family are stigmatized and relegated to a second-class status by being barred from marriage, a bar that serves no legitimate state interest. The exclusion "tells [same-sex] couples and all the world that their otherwise valid relationships are unworthy" of recognition.During his 2010 campaign, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, one of the parties named in the lawsuit, stated [On The Issues report] that "I will ensure that Alabama does not follow the trend of allowing gay marriages or civil unions, and I will protect our state's right to define marriage as between one man and one woman."
This lawsuit comes on the heels of a ruling in Wisconsin [JURIST report] that struck down that state's same sex marriage ban. It also follows a similar ruling in Pennsylvania [JURIST report]. This is the third lawsuit [AP report] to challenge Alabama's same-sex marriage ban.