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Same-sex marriage recognition: turmoil continues

The ruling handed down by a federal judge in a nearby state concerning a high-profile adoption case makes one of our recent Arkansas family law blog posts look very timely.

In fact, a court decision announced by a U.S. district judge in Alabama last Friday followed closely the publishing date of our blog entry that focused on similar subject matter.

We draw the attention of our readers in Arkansas and elsewhere to our January 21 blog post, in which we sketched the material details relating to what we termed "the judicial details regarding gay marriage across the country."

To quickly summarize: Federal courts are in various camps regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and the United States Supreme Court recently waded into the fray with an announcement that it will hear a seminal case and likely issue a definitive ruling later this year.

In the interim, things remain in flux, with the Alabama case providing strong proof of that. Alabama, like Arkansas, remains among a minority of states that do not legally recognize gay marriage.

That very question came up in the Alabama case, owing to an adoption petition filed by a woman in a same-sex marriage. That woman -- married in California and together with her partner for 15 years -- sought to adopt the partner's son.

Alabama statutory law obviously allows for adoptions, but, because of the state's lack of recognition conferred upon gay marriages, the couple's petition was denied.

And then the federal judge struck down the state law, with the couple stated to be "very pleased by the court's ruling."

State officials quickly filed a motion to stay the decision pending the Supreme Court's ruling.

That ruling will obviously be of tremendous importance in Arkansas, Alabama and everywhere else across the country.

We will be sure to keep readers fully apprised of judicial developments that continue to occur in this important legal area.

Source; CNN, "Alabama judge strikes down ban on gay marriage," Deborah E. Bloom and Dave Alsup, Jan. 23, 2015

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