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Taking action in Alabama 

Tomorrow Molly and April will walk into the Probate Judge’s office in Mobile County, Alabama and ask for a marriage license.

They should be served. But as of this morning, all 67 counties across Alabama are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

On Tuesday night, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered a halt to same-sex marriages in the state – a blatant expression of animus. Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry and one of the legal architects behind marriage equality, said of the ruling:

The Alabama Supreme Court has done a disservice to itself, not to mention a massive injustice to the people of Alabama, in allowing itself to be used to temporarily obstruct the freedom to marry and the enforcement of the constitution’s guarantees. This flouting of the Constitution and travesty of justice will not stand.

Molly and April have been together for 7 years. Their wedding is set for March 25, but because Alabama is violating federal law, they don’t know whether they will receive a marriage license in their home state.

Imagine what this would feel like – the uncertainty, the injustice, knowing that your home state is using its power to discriminate against you. In the face of all this, may the love and courage Molly and April be an inspiration to us all.

We know that ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court will resolve these issues for all 50 states. But, as many have said, justice delayed is justice denied. That’s why the Campaign for Southern Equality has organized tomorrow’s WE DO action in Mobile. We will go back to the counter again and again until we are served and treated as full, equal citizens.

Click here to send a message of support to Molly and April and thank them for . . . → Read More: Taking action in Alabama 

North Carolina Senate passes discriminatory bill

Moments ago, the North Carolina Senate passed SB2 in a 32-16 vote. The bill allows magistrates and other officials to refuse to perform marriages based on their personal religious beliefs.

Read more about the bill and today’s vote here.

“This discriminatory bill treats gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens and distorts the true meaning of religious freedom,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. “Once again our legislature has demonstrated a willful disregard for the basic concept of treating all North Carolinians fairly. Like Amendment One, I believe this bill will not stand the test of time because it is rooted in animus.”

PHOTOS: Moral March in Raleigh

For the past few years, the Campaign for Southern Equality has been a part of a coalition led by the North Carolina NAACP that organizes protests in Raleigh – and across the state – pushing back on the extreme conservative agenda pushed by the legislature. The protests have captured the attention of the national media, and have served as a model for organizing in other states.

On Saturday, February 14, we joined thousands of our fellow North Carolinians in Raleigh for the annual Moral March, which began in 2007 under the visionary leadership of Rev. William Barber. We marched in solidarity to the state capitol, joined by people from across issues and across the political spectrum.

At Moral March, we ran into supporters from Asheville and Durham. (Photo by Bill Boyarsky)

 

North Carolina has enacted some of the strictest voting restrictions in the country, and voting rights have been central to the Moral Monday movement.

 

Moral March participants heard from an array of faith and community leaders on issues ranging from education funding to Medicaid expansion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alabama probate judges violating federal law

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Marriage equality became the law of the land in Alabama yesterday and it was amazing to see couples marrying in towns including Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery. But a majority of counties across the state are still refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples. This morning, brave couples once again lined up in Mobile to seek licenses and were once again told that the marriage license office was closed for business.

The New York Times reported on this violation of federal law by Alabama probate judges:

“It was unclear how many of the judges were acting out of overt defiance and how many were simply weighing how to navigate a freshly jumbled legal landscape after Chief Justice Roy S. Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court on Sunday ordered the judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”

In response, legal teams have filed motions to ensure that couples can marry across the state. Probate judges in every Alabama county should immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s action on Monday. Alabama families can’t wait any longer for the freedom to marry and the legal protections they deserve. This is a simple matter of law, justice and dignity.

Marriage equality will prevail in Alabama. This is a critical moment in our push for equality in the South. What we’re seeing play out in Alabama right now speaks to a broader reality across the region. These tensions are exactly what LGBT people experience every single day in the South – the continued march toward federal legal equality, palpably growing support from our family and friends, and yet, still, the systematic denial of our dignity and humanity by state political leaders.

In the short-term, working alongside community leaders and partner groups, we . . . → Read More: Alabama probate judges violating federal law

Statement on Alabama Probate Judges Violating Federal Law

“Probate judges in every Alabama county should immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in accordance with today’s action from the U.S. Supreme Court. Alabama families can’t wait any longer for the freedom to marry and the legal protections they deserve. This is a simple matter of law, justice and dignity,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.