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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama filed a federal lawsuit today 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 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."
The lawsuit was filed in Birmingham at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
"There needs to be marriage equality in Alabama for the sake of family security and family protection," said Ginger Aaron-Brush.
"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 launched the Out for Freedom campaign last year 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 thirteen states to strike down laws that ban or fail to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples.
"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."