Judge officially kills Georgia gay marriage ban

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Stick a cork in it. Georgia's ban on gay marriage – invalidated in June thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court – is really, really dead now as a federal judge ended a lawsuit challenging the ban by officially declaring the gays as the winners. 

The case was terminated on Thursday, a day after U.S. District Judge William Duffey signed an order enjoining the state from enforcing its gay marriage ban. 

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that judgment be entered in favor of Plaintiffs Christopher Inniss, Shelton Stroman, Rayshawn Chandler, Avery Chandler, Michael Bishop, Johnny Shane Thomas, Jennifer Sisson, Elizabeth Wurz and Krista Wurz.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants and their officers, employees, agents, and all other individuals under their supervision, direction, or control are permanently enjoined from enforcing Constitution art. I, § IV, para. I, and O.C.G.A. §§ 19-3-3.1, 19-3-30, to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples, or to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.1

Duffey's order puts an end to a lawsuit filed in April 2014 by several LGBT couples in Georgia contesting the state's ban. And it confirms that the Supreme Court decision in June legalizing gay marriage applies to Georgia, even if some conservatives wished it didn't.

But it did and just hours after gay marriage became legal in Georgia on June 26, LGBT couples lined up at the Fulton County Courthouse to get hitched. Supporters rallied and rallied some more.

Lambda Legal, which filed the Georgia case, tipped its legal hat to the end of the lawsuit.

“Today’s order from the Court officially closes the book on Georgia’s discriminatory marriage ban and makes it crystal clear to officials across the state that marriage equality is the law of the land,” Tara Borelli, senior attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office in Atlanta, said in  a prepared statement. 

The decision is just one more reason to celebrate Atlanta Pride this weekend. You know, besides the porn stars, hunky DJsextended nightlife and Donald Trump.

Photo by Russ Youngblood

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