A Birmingham couple has filed the third lawsuit challenging Alabama's gay marriage ban.
When April and Ginger Aaron-Brush got married in 2012, they had no idea that two years later they'd be on the front lines of the fight to have their marriage recognized in Alabama.
They were married in Massachusetts but they then returned to their home state where the law does not recognize them as spouses.
"I feel strongly that one's marriage status should not change simply by crossing state lines," Ginger Aaron-Brush said.
Still, they've seen the discrepancies when trying to get change their name, applying for health insurance, filing income tax return, even in being seen as a mother to their adopted daughter.
"It's disheartening," April Aaron-Brush said. "It makes you feel like a second-class citizen. That your marriage isn't good enough."
So one day before their second wedding anniversary, they've filed a lawsuit in federal court asking that Alabama's ban against recognizing gay and lesbian couples married in other states be struck down. The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of the couple. Birmingham attorney Wendy Crew is working in conjunction with the organization.
"Our lawsuit is very similar to others that have been heard. This is a constitutional issue, an equal protection issue, a due process issue. We are hopeful and have great expectations that our federal judges here will follow the procedure the federal courts have set throughout the country," Crew said.
Susan Watson, who is the executive director for the ACLU of Alabama, says they are happy to be bringing marriage equality to all couples in Alabama. She adds that state and federal marriage laws provide the economic and legal safety net all couples and their children deserve. The Aaron-Brushes agree.
"We don't know what lies ahead. We will leave all that in the hands of our attorneys," says Ginger Aaron-Brush said. "But we're here for the long haul."
"And I do feel justice will prevail," April Aaron-Brush said.
The couple says their goal isn't to change people's beliefs but guarantee all couples have the same legal rights.
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