Wednesday, January 8 2014 5:50 PM EST2014-01-08 22:50:22 GMT
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Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:05 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:05:28 GMT
Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine say they are holding an American journalist captive.More >>
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Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:34 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:34:50 GMT
The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching 150, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin...More >>
As the 156th body was pulled from waters where the ferry Sewol sank a week ago, relatives of the nearly 150 still missing pressed the government Wednesday to finish the grim task of recovery soon. But the work was reaching...More >>
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
A civil rights organization is challenging Alabama's ban on same-sex marriages and refusal to recognize those marriages legally performed in other states.
The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking to overturn Alabama's 1998 Marriage Protection Act and the 2005 Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to the state's constitution.
The SPLC filed the suit on the basis that Alabama's Marriage Protection Act and Sanctity of Marriage Amendment violate the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
"Alabama has created two classes of marriages within its borders and deemed one of those classes – marriages between people of the same sex – to be inferior to the other," said David C. Dinielli, SPLC deputy legal director. "This is unconstitutional."
The SPLC filed the suit on behalf of Paul Hard, who was legally married to David Fancher in Massachusetts. Fancher was later killed in a car wreck in Montgomery.
The SPLC says Hard is demanding his rightful share from the proceeds of a pending wrongful death suit and wants the State of Alabama to correct a death certificate for his late husband naming him as the surviving spouse.
"Most married couples take for granted that if tragedy strikes they can proceed through the worst of times without the state saying at every turn that their marriage doesn't even exist," Hard, who is an Alabama citizen, explained. "Marriages are significant, and my marriage is due the same respect as any other."
Governor Robert Bentley's office released the following statement on the lawsuit Thursday:
"Governor Bentley will fight the merits of this lawsuit. Like most Alabamians, the Governor strongly believes in the traditional definition of marriage, as being between a man and woman. He will work every day to continue to protect the sanctity of marriage in Alabama."