Lesbian couple challenges Alabama's ban on gay marriage - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Lesbian couple challenges Alabama's ban on gay marriage

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Ginger and April Aaron-Brush celebrate an anniversary Wednesday; 17 years as a couple.  Two years ago, their pastor, daughter, and loved ones went with them to Massachusetts to make their same-sex marriage legal.  

"Marriage says we are family more than any other word," said Ginger Aaron-Brush. 

The couple are hoping other same-sex couples in Alabama don't have to leave home to say their wedding vows.  They are challenging Alabama's Marriage Protection Act, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. 

State law doesn't allow marriage licenses be issues to same-sex couples and same-sex marriages performed in other states aren't recognized either. 

"If you take the time to get to know us, you realize that we're more alike than we're dislike," said April Aaron-Brush. 

The couple has legal support from local attorney Wendy Crew and from the American Civil Liberties Union. 
 
"There has not been a single challenge to a state's same-sex marriage ban that has not been overturned by the federal courts. And we're hopeful that our federal courts will do the same," said Wendy Crew, an attorney in the case. 

The legal argument for case is that Alabama's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage denies them legal protection under the law, relegates them to second-class status, and is discriminatory. 

The lawsuit names Governor Robert Bentley, Attorney General Luther Strange, and other high ranking state elected leaders. 

In a new conference Governor Bentley said, " I think we have to let the court system work. People have the right to file lawsuits, but my job as chief executive of the state is to always execute the laws of the state and I will continue to do that like the law says. The constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman, so we have to uphold the laws of the state and that's what I will do."

Crew, however, views the a challenge to the lawsuit as a waste of taxpayer dollars. 

" We are hopeful that Governor Bentley and Attorney General Strange would not waste the funds of the people of Alabama by challenging us in this and perhaps just do the right thing and agree with our position," said Crew. 

19 states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage. This couple hopes Alabama is next. 

"The time has come for people to see us as a regular couple," said Ginger Aaron-Brush.    
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