US: Judge stays Alabama same-sex marriage ruling for 14 days

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A federal judge has put a two week hold on a ruling which allowed same-sex marriages to take place in Alabama.

US District Judge Callie V S Granade said gay and lesbian couples should not be kept in legal limbo, and refused to stay the ruling until the Supreme Court makes a decision on same-sex marriage later this year, as per the request of the Alabama Attorney General.

The 14-day stay will expire on 9 February, unless extended, and Granade said it would be inappropriate to have a long-term stay following the ruling.

“As long as a stay is in place, same-sex couples and their families remain in a state of limbo with respect to adoption, child care and custody, medical decisions, employment and health benefits, future tax implications, inheritance and many other rights associated with marriage,” she wrote.

District court Judge Callie V Granade ruled on Friday that the state’s ‘Sanctity of Marriage Amendment’ – which defined marriage as between a man and a woman – was unconstitutional, writing that it harms the children of same-sex families.

However, the state’s Probate Judges Association has sought to clarify the ruling – which it asserts only applies to the one couple in the case.