Judge allows challenge to state’s marriage ban to move forward

A federal judge late Thursday dismissed the state of Georgia’s motion to stop a challenge to its ban on gay marriage.

The case, Inniss v. Aderhold. will move forward, U.S. District Court Judge William Duffey Jr. ruled.

The case was filed on behalf of four same-sex couples and the surviving spouse of a fifth couple.

“We are delighted that the Court will allow this case to continue,” Tara Borelli, senior attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. “We look forward to our day in court to demonstrate Georgia’s marriage ban is unconstitutional and relegates the state’s same-sex couples to a second-class status that keeps them and their families vulnerable.”

Lauren Kane, spokeswoman for Attorney General Sam Olens, who is defending the state’s marriage ban, said the issue is working its way through the courts.

“We look forward to further clarification regarding the ability of states to decide these questions,” Kane said. “The United States Supreme Court has an opportunity to review this issue and will likely announce its intent in the coming weeks.”

Other cases pending before the 11th Circuit will also provide clarity, she said.

“As the issue remains pending, the office will continue to pursue its constitutional obligation to defend the laws as passed by the legislature and the citizens of the state of Georgia,” Kane siad.

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