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Judge issues 14-day stay of order striking down Alabama gay marriage ban


MOBILE, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama has issued a 14-day stay order of her ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, meaning no marriage licenses will be issued to same-sex couples on Monday.

alabama-flagU.S. District Callie V.S. Granade issued the temporary stay on Sunday to allow the state to seek relief from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

From the order:

“The Attorney General argues that a stay will serve the public interest by avoiding the confusion and inconsistency that will result from an on-again, off-again enforcement of marriage laws. The court finds that the state’s interesting in refusing recognize the plaintiff’s same-sex marriage or in allowing same-sex marriage is insufficient to override the plaintiffs’ interest in vindicating their constitutional rights. The public interest does not call for a different result.

“In its discretion, however, the court recognizes the value of allowing the Eleventh Circuit an opportunity to determine whether a stay is appropriate. Accordingly, although no indefinite stay issues today, the court will allow the Attorney General time to present his arguments to the Eleventh Circuit so that the appeals court can decide whether to dissolve or continue the stay pending appeal (assuming there will be an appeal.) The preliminary injunction will be stayed for 14 days. […]

“If no action is taken by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to extend or lift the stay within that time period, this court’s stay will be lifted on February 9, 2105.”

On Friday, Attorney General Luther Strange’s office had asked Granade to put the ruling on hold since the U.S. Supreme Court plans to take up the issue of gay marriage this term. The high court is scheduled to hear arguments in April in cases from four states whose marriage bans were upheld by the Sixth Circuit. A nationwide ruling could come by June.

Last month, the Eleventh Circuit decline to extend a stay on a ruling that struck down Florida‘s same-sex marriage ban, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene as well, clearing the way for Florida to become the 36th marriage equality state just weeks ago.

Document courtesy Equality Case Files. [ Full screen ]

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