A lawyer for gay couples across Alabama has asked a federal judge to force reluctant probate judges to comply with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said gay and lesbian couples have a fundamental right to marry. Shannon Minter, legal director of National Center for Lesbian Rights, says that every probate judge is now required to issue marriage licenses on an "equal basis." Minter filed a motion Monday asking U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade to issue a permanent injunction directing probate judges to issue the licenses.
Tune in to "President's Perspective" every Wednesday at 7:05am on 90.7Fm hosted by Alabama State University President Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd. The purpose of the President's Perspective is to bring news, updates, and accomplishments about ASU. The show will feature key success stories and matters about the ASU Family, students, faculty members, and Alumni.
The Alabama Supreme Court is asking parties to weigh in on the impact of the landmark ruling giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry nationwide. State justices Monday directed parties to file motions by July 6 on how the decision impacts the state court's March order for probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples. The Monday order did not give directions to probate judges. Susan Watson, the head of the ACLU of Alabama, calls the order a stalling tactic from same-sex marriage opponents.
Some Alabama counties have started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. A supervisor in Mobile County's probate court, Russ Davidson, said the court issued its first same-sex marriage license to two women today after months of refusing to sell marriage licenses to anyone. Moral Law Foundation Executive Director Matthew Kidd says the ruling dismantles traditional marriage.
Students, staff and community members gathered at Alabama State University on Thursday night to honor the lives of the victims of the Charleston church shooting during a candlelight vigil. During the service, university students read scripture and poetry. Nine candles were lit as members of the Student Government Association read the names and passed around pictures of the nine victims.
Another big victory in the Supreme Court for President Barack Obama's health care law. In a six to three ruling Thursday, the justices upheld the nationwide tax subsidies that help make insurance affordable for millions of Americans. Alabama Arise is an advocacy group for low-income families. He hopes the decision will lead to Medicaid expansion for people too poor to qualify for subsidies. Governor Robert Bentley has so far declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. He was disappointed in the ruling and called it a judicial overstep.
Montgomery's Crampton Bowl Multiplex will be the location of the 2015 Veterans Benefits and Health Fair Supermarket Wednesday. Veterans and vendors are invited to attend the free annual benefits fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Montgomery County Veterans Service Officer, Charles McCray advises job seekers to be professionally dressed and bring a resume. The number to the Montgomery Office of Veterans Affairs is (334) 832-1392.
Alabama's unemployment compensation law has been changed so that retirement benefits will no longer affect monthly jobless benefits. Under previous policy, if an employee lost their job and withdrew funds from their pension plan or 401K, their unemployment benefits would be deducted by the amount withdrawn. The new law will no longer penalize individuals for taking money from their retirement account. State Representative Napolean Bracy of Prichard sponsored the bill. Governor Bentley has signed the bill. It will go into effect September 1st.
Officials say Alabama's unemployment rate is up to 6.1 percent. The May jobless rate released Friday increased from 5.8 percent in April. Shelby County has the state's lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent, the worst is in rural Wilcox County at 15.6 percent.
The U.S. Geological Survey has detected another small earthquake in western Alabama. USGS officials say a magnitude 2.1 tremor was reported early yesterday morning and the epicenter was west of Tuscaloosa, between Eutaw and Aliceville. Dr. Sandy Ebersole with the Geological Survey of Alabama says there have been 15 earthquakes in west Alabama since late November of last year. She says the tremors could be related to underground faults in that part of the state. Dr. Ebersole says her office has ruled out surface activity like quarry work or oil and gas production.