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SPLC client responds to court action clearing path to same-sex marriage in Alabama

The Eleventh Circuit order denying a stay pending appeal means that, absent Supreme Court intervention, same-sex couples can begin marrying on Monday.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today refused to stay last week’s federal court order striking down Alabama’s law banning same-sex marriage.

It’s good news for SPLC client Paul Hard

On Monday, when the order goes into effect, he’ll be seeking a corrected death certificate for his late husband, David Fancher. Alabama law previously prohibited the state from recognizing their marriage. 

“I am overjoyed that within a matter of days – unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in – same-sex couples in Alabama will be afforded the dignity and respect all married couples in the state deserve,” Hard said. “I want to congratulate Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand for taking a stand by filing the lawsuit that could finally bring marriage equality to Alabama.

“If the stay is lifted Monday, I will finally have the opportunity to correct an indignity the state inflicted on me when my husband died. I will be at the Alabama Department of Public Health to request a corrected death certificate for my late husband, David Fancher. I hope that after Monday his death certificate will no longer include the demeaning words ‘NEVER MARRIED.’ Instead, I hope it will show that he was, indeed, my loving husband.”

SPLC President Richard Cohen added: “Today we are one step closer to equality for all of Alabama’s families. The Eleventh Circuit order denying a stay pending appeal means that, absent Supreme Court intervention, same-sex couples can begin marrying on Monday, if not sooner, and that all marriages will be recognized. We could not be happier for our client, Paul Hard, and for all the families who have been denied dignity and equality by Alabama’s unfair marriage restrictions.”

The SPLC today also filed a supplement to its ongoing judicial ethics complaint against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over his public statements urging the governor and Alabama judges to defy federal law and enforce Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriages.