By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, February 3, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta denied Alabama’s request for a stay of US District Judge Callie Granade’s ruling striking down the Alabama Marriage Protection Act and the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to the Alabama Constitution as unconstitutional.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) has filed a motion asking the US Supreme Court to extend the stay on the controversial January 23 ruling. AG Strange said, “I am disappointed in the 11th US Circuit Court’s decision not to stay the federal district court’s ruling. The confusion that has been created by the District Court’s ruling could linger for months until the US Supreme Court resolves this issue once and for all.”
AG Strange said, “My office vigorously defended the constitutionality of Alabama’s marriage laws in the Searcy and Strawser cases, and we have appealed the court’s orders in those cases. Today, we filed a motion with the US Supreme Court to stay the Federal court’s decision until the Supreme Court finally rules on the issue in June.”
Terry Lathan, a candidate for Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party released a written statement in response to Tuesday’s news. Lathan said, “As someone who joined with 81 percent of Alabama voters in supporting and passing the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to the Alabama Constitution, I am disheartened at today’s ruling. Again we see unelected and unaccountable Federal Judges use of judicial fiat to create law in our state that is in sharp contrast to the will of our Legislature and our citizens. I view this as a clear violation of states rights.”
Mrs. Lathan continued, “Later this year, the United States Supreme Court will take up a gay marriage case that observers on both sides agree should provide a national answer to this difficult legal question. Federal Courts, and yes even the Supreme Court has ruled the wrong way in the past, most notably in Roe v. Wade, so we must be prepared for that decision in this upcoming case.”
Lathan said that, “The next President of the United States may have the opportunity to nominate 2-3 Supreme Court Justices and countless Federal Judges throughout the country. That is why the 2016 Presidential election is so very critical. If Hillary and the Democrats maintain the White House, they will further pack the courts with activist judges. We need a strong Republican nominee that will appoint strictly constitutional conservative judges that one day will overturn Roe and set right other precedents such as these current rulings on gay marriage.”
Lathan promised that, “As the Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, I will work tirelessly to ensure we see a Republican President to replace Barack Obama and put more constitutional conservative judges on the Federal bench.”
Lathan concluded, “Outside of the legal realm, this is a sad day for Alabama. I hope you will join with me as we pray for our State and our Nation.” Lathan stepped down as Chairman of the Mobile County Republican Party to run for ALGOP Chairman.
Lathan’s opponent for Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party is former State Representative Mary Sue McClurkin from Indian Springs.
McClurkin said after the January decision by Judge Granade, “I am extremely disappointed that an unelected Federal Judge in Mobile has deemed her opinion more important than the voice of Alabamians. As a State Representative I was proud to support traditional marriage in the legislature and proud as a citizen to cast my vote at the ballot box in favor of protecting traditional marriage. Unelected judges should not overrule the voice of Alabamians and I stand with our Attorney General’s office in opposing this federal encroachment.”
The current Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, former State Senator Bill Armistead is not seeking a third term leading the Alabama GOP. Chairman Armistead has been very outspoken in his opposition to gay marriage.
Following the ruling by Judge Granade, Chairman Armistead said, “Tonight’s news is a clear demonstration of how traditional values espoused by Alabamians have begun to erode even in our conservative state. The far left-wing radical agenda of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have brought to Alabama’s front door their effort to redefine marriage.”
Without a stay by the US Supreme Court, Alabama’s Probate Judges will have to begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples beginning on Monday, February 9.