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Federal judge rules again that gay couples have the right to wed in Alabama

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A federal judge on Thursday reaffirmed her earlier ruling that same-sex couples in Alabama have a right to wed under the Constitution, but she put the ruling on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade in January overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, in a ruling that went into effect the following month and led probate judges throughout much of the state to begin issuing licenses to the couples.

In March, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses. Attorneys on behalf of same-sex couples later sought a ruling from Granade to formally define as a plaintiff class all same-sex couples seeking to legally wed in the state.

Granade on Thursday granted that request and reaffirmed her earlier decision, even as she acknowledged that probate judges will be faced with either complying with a direction from the Alabama Supreme Court or complying with her own order.

“However, the choice should be simple,” Granade wrote in her 14-page opinion. “Under the Supremacy Clause (of the U.S. Constitution), the laws of the United States are ‘the supreme Law of the Land.'”

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While same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states and Washington D.C. and public opinion polls showing increasing support for it, conservative lawmakers in some states have redoubled their opposition.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling expected this summer, will take up the issue of whether states can ban gay marriage. As a result, Granade wrote that she was putting her latest ruling on hold until the Supreme Court hands down its decision.

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Legendary civil rights icon John Lewis unloads on Trump from the House floor: ‘I know racism when I see it’

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Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to condemn racist statements by President Donald Trump.

As chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was one of the "Big Six" civil rights leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington during with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.

"I rise with a sense of righteous indignation to support this resolution," Lewis began.

"I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it," he explained. "And at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism."

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US withholds cash from UN Population Fund over China abortions

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The United States said Tuesday it will again withhold contributions to the UN Population Fund due to its work with China, which controls family size, as the agency accused Washington of jeopardizing women's health.

It marked the third straight year that the United States has refused to fund the UN body as President Donald Trump's administration seeks to combat abortion, a pivotal issue for his evangelical Christian base.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo determined that "China's family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization practices," conditions that under US law require an end to funding, a State Department spokeswoman said.

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Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report

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On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.

"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."

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