We Won a Thing in The South, Y’all: Same-Sex Couples Begin Marrying in Alabama

This morning, Alabama became the 37th state to allow same-sex marriage when several counties opened their courthouses and began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

In January, United States District Court Judge Callie Granade ruled that Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, but granted a two-week stay to give the state time to appeal the ruling to the United States Supreme Court. Late last night, on the eve of the stay’s expiration, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore forbade local probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but this morning when SCOTUS refused to intervene and uphold the stay, courthouses around the state — from Birmingham to Montgomery to Huntsville — began marrying the gay couples who were lined up outside their doors.

If you want to get weepy, watch this video of the first lesbian couple to be married in Montgomery County, where only one single person showed up to protest.

The United States Supreme Court’s unwillingness to intervene in Alabama (and Florida and Virginia and Utah and Oklahoma and Wisconsin and Indiana, where similar situations have been playing out since October) bodes well for the broader ruling the court is expected to issue later this year when it will hear cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, the only states where federal appeals courts have blocked same-sex marriages. The message seems to be that SCOTUS will not step in when same-sex marriages are allowed, only when they are blocked.

Even Clarence Thomas agrees that the writing is on the wall. In his dissent this morning, he wrote: “In this case, the court refuses even to grant a temporary stay when it will resolve the issue at hand in several months… This acquiescence may well be seen as a signal of the Court’s intended resolution of that question.”

Here you go, feel even happier:

It really is all happening, y’all!

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 854 articles for us.

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