Taxpayers To Pay Over $300K for Legal Fees After Same-Sex Marriage Fight

Feb 3, 2017

ACLU of Alabama Legal Director Randall C. Marshall

The fight over the legality of same-sex marriage in Alabama is finally, officially over. And as the cases wrap up, state taxpayers will be on the hook for the legal fees.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade has ordered that the state of Alabama will pay over $300,000 in legal fees to several organizations including the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. They provided representation for litigants challenging Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Randall Marshall is the legal director of the ACLU of Alabama. He says the reason the bill is so high is because Alabama fought so hard to defend the state law. It is the Attorney General’s job to defend state law, but Marshall says it didn’t have to come to this.

“Where an Attorney General concludes that the law is Constitutionally suspect, I think it could streamline the litigation to get an answer quicker than to throw up a no-holds-barred defense.”

Not to mention save taxpayers a lot of money. Marshall says this ruling is similar to another fight between the ACLU and the state over abortion rights that ended up costing taxpayers over $1.7 million.