Murrow Awards Application – Continuing Coverage of Alabama’s Same-Sex Marriage Battle

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On January 23, 2015, a federal judge struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage. What followed was a political and legal battle that put Alabama at odds with the federal government and caused mass confusion for the state’s probate judges. WBHM covered this story from the moment the ban was struck down through the Supreme Court’s ruling in June.

Audio Compilation Rundown:

00:00 – 0:46 “Federal Judge In Alabama Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional”

By Rachel Osier Lindley. Alabama has become the latest state to see its ban on gay marriage fall to a federal court ruling, as the issue of same-sex marriage heads to the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Callie V.S. Granade ruled Friday in favor of two Mobile women who sued to challenge Alabama’s refusal to recognize their marriage performed in California. National spot aired during NPR newscasts on Friday, January 23, 2015. Click to view the original story.

00:47 – 4:30 “Federal Judge Puts Temporary Hold on Same-Sex Marriage Decision”

By Rachel Osier Lindley and Andrew Yeager. Alabama same-sex couples who hoped to get marriage licenses today will have to wait at a few more weeks to see if the state will legally recognize their relationships. Following Judge Granade’s decision on Friday, January 23, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange asked for an indefinite stay on her decision, citing the Supreme Court’s expected ruling on gay marriage cases in June. But the judge said same-sex couples shouldn’t be left in limbo. Instead, on Sunday she put a 14-day hold on her ruling. This will give the state time to ask the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a lengthier stay. In this conversation, Rachel Osier Lindley catches up listeners on what happened since the judge’s decision came down. Aired on WBHM Monday, January 26, 2015. Click to view the original story.

4:32 – 5:19 “Alabama Appeals Same-Sex Ruling”

By Rachel Osier Lindley. National spot on Alabama’s appeal of the federal judge’s order overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. National Spot aired during NPR newscasts on Monday, January 26, 2015. Click to view the original story.

5:21 – 6:42 “Same-Sex Couple In Birmingham Denied Marriage License”

By Ashley Cleek. This morning, Greg Mullins and Josh Laning stood in the hallway outside the Jefferson County probate office. Greg’s 50, and Josh is 41, and they have been together for a decade. They have been thinking about getting married for years, but they never believed it would be possible in Alabama. In this story, Cleek follows the couple during their unsuccessful trip to the courthouse. Aired on WBHM Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Click to view the original story.

6:44 – 10:05 “Alabamian vs. American”

By Andrew Yeager. A federal judge who struck down Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban has released a letter clarifying the ruling applies to all government officials, not just those named in the suit. The ruling is on hold for now, but it’s the latest in a legal firestorm sparked Friday when the decision came down. In this segment, WBHM’s Andrew Yeager talks about it with Birmingham News and Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald. Aired on WBHM Thursday, January 29, 2015. Click to view the original story.

10:06 – 14:03 “Stay on Same-Sex Marriage Decision from U.S. Supreme Court Unlikely”

By Rachel Osier Lindley. Alabama Attorney general Luther Strange has made a last attempt to keep a federal judge’s same-sex marriage decision on hold. Today he filed a motion asking the U.S. Supreme court to stay the federal court’s decision until the Supreme Court finally rules on the issue in June. Alabama’s seen political debate, along with a few stays, motions and rulings, ever since U.S. District Judge Callie Granade struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage last month. In this conversation, Henry Strickland, dean of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, updates listeners and says it’s unlikely the U.S. Supreme Court would honor Strange’s request for a stay. Aired on WBHM Tuesday, February 3, 2015. Click to view the original story.

14:05 – 14:55 “Same-Sex Marriages Begin in Alabama on Monday”

By Joseph Thornton. Barring a last-minute stay from the U.S. Supreme Court, on Monday Alabama becomes the 37th state to recognize same-sex marriage. Despite some heated political debate, most probate courts around the state are getting ready to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. WBHM checked in with how the Jefferson County Probate Court was preparing. Aired on WBHM Friday, February 6, 2015. Click to view the original story.

14:57 – 15:38 “Same-Sex Couples Start Applying for Marriage Licenses”

By Rachel Osier Lindley. In Alabama, same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses today unless there’s a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court. And there’s been pushback from Alabama officials. National spot aired on NPR’s Morning Edition Monday, February 9, 2015.

15:40 – 19:07 “Alabama’s Only Openly Gay Lawmaker Overjoyed as State Recognizes Gay Marriage”

By Andrew Yeager. Alabama probate judges can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples today. It’s the result of a decision last month from a federal judge in Mobile striking down the state’s ban on gay marriage. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order late Sunday instructing probate judges not to grant such licenses. Birmingham Representative Patricia Todd is the only openly gay lawmaker in the state legislature. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke to her about this turn of events. Aired on WBHM’s Morning Edition, Monday, February 9, 2015. Click to view the original story.

19:08 – 19:07 “Alabama’s Only Openly Gay Lawmaker Overjoyed as State Recognizes Gay Marriage”

By Andrew Yeager. Alabama probate judges can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples today. It’s the result of a decision last month from a federal judge in Mobile striking down the state’s ban on gay marriage. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order late Sunday instructing probate judges not to grant such licenses. Birmingham Representative Patricia Todd is the only openly gay lawmaker in the state legislature. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke to her about this turn of events. Aired on WBHM’s Morning Edition, Monday, February 9, 2015. Click to view the original story.

19:08 – 23:18 “A Long-Awaited Wedding for one Alabama Same-Sex Couple”

By Ashley Cleek. Judges in at least 10 Alabama counties are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples today. WBHM’s Ashley Cleek followed one couple to the Jefferson County Courthouse for their wedding. Aired on WBHM’s All Things Considered, Monday, February 9, 2015.

23:21 – 26:37 “Judicial Chaos Complicates Same-Sex Marriage in Alabama”

By Rachel Osier Lindley. Some same-sex couples across Alabama received marriage licenses on Monday despite protests and an order by the state’s chief justice ordering probate judges not to issue the licenses. Aired nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition, Tuesday, February 10, 2015. Click to view the original story.

26:38 – 29:56 “Alabama Reacts to Gay Marriage Decision”

By Ashley Cleek. Gay marriage is now legal in Alabama. In a 5 to 4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today states can’t stop same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize those unions across the country.When Erik Obermiller heard the news, he started crying. Obermiller and his husband David Roby are already legally married. They were among the first couples to get married after a lower court ruling earlier this year briefly allowed same-sex marriage in Alabama. In this story, Ashley Cleek captures their reactions and those of other Alabamians. Aired on WBHM Friday, june 26, 2015. Click to view the original story.

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