ACLU files federal lawsuit challenging Alabama’s same-sex marria - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

ACLU files federal lawsuit challenging Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban

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A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a same-sex couple living in Alabama.

April and Ginger Aaron Brush were married in Massachusetts and they now want their marriage to be recognized in the state of Alabama.

“The word marriage, in itself, brings validity and respect to any committed relationship,” said April Aaron-Brush. “One's marriage status shouldn't change simply by crossing state lines. Gay couples seek to be married for the very same reasons that opposite-sex couples choose to be married-- love, honor and commitment.”

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The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama filed the lawsuit this morning in Birmingham.

A portion of it reads:

“Alabama’s refusal to recognize Plaintiffs’ marriage unlawfully denies them many of the legal protections available to different-sex couples, including, but not limited to, the right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated spouse, access to health insurance and retirement benefits, property protections, and inheritance.”

ACLU representatives say its ultimate goal is to ensure people not only have the freedom to marry, but also the same access to the benefits of marriage.

The lawsuit also claims Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban “tells [same-sex] couples and all the world that their otherwise valid relationships are unworthy” and “humiliates ... children now being raised by same-sex couples.

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The lawsuit names Governor Robert Bentley, Attorney General Luther Strange, Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee and Public Safety Director Hugh B. McCall.

“All loving and committed couples deserve the dignity and protections that come with marriage, no matter where they live,” said Susan Watson of the ACLU of Alabama. “It’s time for marriage equality to come to Alabama.”

The ACLU is fighting a legal battle in thirteen states against laws that ban or fail to recognize same-sex marriages.

“The past year has witnessed a historic transformation in public support for marriage for same-sex couples,” said Chase Strangio, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “We hope that this case will help bring the Deep South into the national march toward the freedom to marry.”

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