MOBILE, Ala. — Two lesbian women in Alabama have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s constitutional marriage amendment in their efforts to obtain legal recognition as parents of an eight-year-old boy.
Kimberly McKeand and Cari Searcy have been in a relationship for over 14 years, and traveled to California to “wed” in 2008 after winning a contest held by the San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
In 2005, McKeand conceived via a sperm donor and gave birth to a baby boy that she named Khaya. However, neither the hospital nor the state would recognize Searcy as the parent because of Alabama’s constitutional marriage amendment, also known as the “Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.”
“Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman,” it reads in part. “As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting this unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state.”
The amendment was passed in 2006 with 81 percent approval from voters.
According to AL.com, Searcy filed paperwork with the Mobile County Probate Court in 2011 in an effort to legally adopt the child. She was denied due to the state’s ban on same-sex “marriage,” and the Alabama Civil Court of Appeals upheld the decision.
McKeand and Searcy have now sued Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Attorney General Luther Strange and Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis—among others—in an attempt to overturn the law. They claim that the state’s marriage amendment violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Attorney General Strange issued a statement this week, vowing to fight the challenge in court.
“As attorney general, I will vigorously defend the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman,” he said. “That has been the definition of marriage for the history of western civilization, and Alabamians overwhelmingly voted to incorporate it into our laws.”
In the meantime, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore decried same-sex “marriage” this past weekend as being an affront to the purpose and design of the Creator.
“We ought to go back to an understanding that God determined that a woman be fit for a man and created a woman for a man,” he declared to Washington state’s 28th District Republican Club on Saturday. “We can’t change that.”
“That’s not what same-sex marriage is about anyway,” Moore continued. “It’s not about two men getting married or two women; it’s about destroying an institution ordained of God. It’s about feeling good but ignoring God’s laws for happiness, for civilization, for progress as the United States Supreme Court recognizes.”