US: Alabama judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban

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A judge in the US state of Alabama has stuck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

District court Judge Callie VS Granada ruled last night that the state’s ‘Sanctity of Marriage Amendment’ – which defined marriage as between a man and a woman – was unconstitutional.

Judge Granada – who was appointed by George W Bush – wrote: “If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children.

“Those children currently being raised by same-sex parents in Alabama are just as worthy of protection and recognition by the State as are the children being raised by opposite-sex parents.

“Yet Alabama’s Sanctity laws harms the children of same-sex couples for the same reasons that the Supreme Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act harmed the children of same-sex couples.

“There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples.

“In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”

The judge did not stay the ruling – meaning that couples can begin to marry immediately.

However, the state’s Republican Attorney General, Luther Strange, said he would seek to halt the impending weddings.

Mr Strange said: “We are disappointed and are reviewing the federal district court’s decision. We expect to ask for a stay of the court’s judgment pending the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, which will ultimately decide this case.”

The Supreme Court has already agreed to take up a same-sex marriage case from four other states – with a ruling anticipated by the summer.