Well, there’s a brand new marriage equality lawsuit in Georgia, because of course there is. With dozens and dozens of couples filing suit against various states over the last few months, it was only a matter of time before the Peach State joined in.
But who are plaintiffs Shane Thomas and Michael Bishop? Well, they’re 44 and 50, respectively. They grew up Baptist in small Southern towns. They met at a birthday party for a mutual friend in Atlanta in 2006. And they’re raising two kids, a boy and a girl, both of whom they adopted at birth. The kids are a big motivation for the lawsuit, since the dads want to be able to protect their kids — especially when traveling.
Lamda Legal is backing the lawsuit, and also rounded up three other couples. when Shelton Stroman tried to adopt Christopher Inniss’ last name, he says a judge “berated” him for being gay. Then there’s Rayshawn Chandler and Avery Chandler, both Atlanta cops with a marriage license from Connecticut on June 26, 2013.
The most heart-wrenching story belongs to plaintiff Jennifer Sisson, whose wife Pamela Drenner passed away last month from ovarian cancer. Her death certificate read “never married.”
Interestingly, Lambda is seeking class action status, which means that thousands of other LGBT couples might be able to join in. This is a somewhat unusual tactic — most of the federal marriage suits across the country have been limited to just the plaintiff couples.
With this filing, there are only four states left that need a marriage lawsuit: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Get to work, Alaskans!