Aaron-Brush v. Bentley - Freedom to Marry in Alabama

June 10, 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama have filed a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of April and Ginger Aaron-Brush of Birmingham. The couple was wed in Massachusetts, but their marriage is not recognized in their home state.

The ACLU launched the Out for Freedom campaign in 2013 after representing Edie Windsor in her historic Supreme Court victory gutting the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The campaign aims to bring the freedom to marry nationwide. The ACLU is currently litigating in multiple states to strike down laws that ban or fail to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples.

Status: Discovery due by February 2015; case to be trial ready by September 2015.

 

April and Ginger Aaron-Brush

April and Ginger Aaron-Brush

April, an employee with the Social Security Administration, and Ginger, a tenured and decorated teacher, met during their sophomore year in college in the spring of 1997 through a mutual friend. There was an immediate emotional connection and their friendship soon blossomed into a tender, devoted and loving relationship. During their senior year, despite the difficulty of being a young, gay couple in the Deep South, April and Ginger held a commitment ceremony in the presence of their closest and dearest friends.

They found a loving and supportive church home and continue to grow together spiritually, as well as emotionally.

Like many couples, April and Ginger’s desired to expand their family and become parents. In 2007, their dream was realized and they adopted a healthy baby girl. During the entire process, they received support from family, friends, co-workers and even strangers as they came to understand their family dynamics.

In 2012, the couple travelled to Massachusetts with close friends and family. There, on their 15th anniversary as a couple, April and Ginger were legally married. Since then, their lives have been changed: their names reflect a unified family, they feel their relationship is affirmed by their faith, and they have gained a deeper respect from other married families.

However in Alabama, their family doesn’t have the legal security enjoyed by other families. Although Ginger has lovingly and tenderly raised and nurtured their child from day one alongside April, in Alabama she is not recognized as a parent.

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