Alabama's Reaction to U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Same Sex Marriage, Child Care sickness suits

Jun 26, 2015

The United States Supreme Court says same sex marriages are legal nationwide, but marriage licenses aren't going out yet in Tuscaloosa County.

Dozens of activists gathered outside the County Courthouse to celebrate the decision. But inside the courthouse, clerks had no plans to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge Hardy McCollum says he's following the law...

“Once there’s a ruling, it’s not final. There’s an appeal process for those that make, and until it becomes final… Once that’s done, we will comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.”

The Supreme Court gives the losing side three weeks to ask for reconsideration.  The Human Rights Campaign says that any probate judge refusing to issue marriage licenses is in violation of federal law. Several other judges across Alabama are refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses or any licenses at all.

Same sex couples in Alabama are welcoming today’s Supreme Court decision. APR’s Pat Duggins reports, that includes the very first same sex couple to get a marriage license in Tuscaloosa…

“I guess we’re going to still be married.”

Angela Channel got to deliver the news of today’s Supreme Court decision to her partner of twenty years.  Dawn Hicks was busy seeing a doctor at the VA medical Center when word first broke. Channell says one of the biggest victories from today’s court action is that she can stand by Hicks during her medical treatment like any spouse…

“It was doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t what your belief system is. What matters is what the law allows.”

Hicks and Channel were married on St. Valentine’s Day. They received Tuscaloosa County’s first same sex marriage license just before the State Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop. Now, these unions are legal nationwide.

Parents have filed two lawsuits against a Montgomery day care where health officials say nearly 90 children suffered suspected food poisoning this week.

Court documents show the suits were filed within minutes of each other yesterday against Sunnyside Day Care.

Neerita Moore claims she went to pick up her 4-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter at Sunnyside on Tuesday and found them both ill. The suit claims the woman entered the facility to find sick children on the floor covered in vomit and excrement.

Janelle Hamilton's suit says her son was among the sick. She claims two hospital emergency rooms treated so many sick children they looked like war zones, and the mayor even visited.

The day care's owners haven't filed responses. But health officials have shut down the center.