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Same-Sex Marriage Coming to Alabama

  |   By: West Honeycutt     |   Opinion

Ring the bells (wedding bells), sound the alarms (or send the invitations) … same-sex marriage is coming to Alabama.

That’s the word on the street, anyway.

Earlier today, The Southern Poverty Law Center announced they will bring a federal suit against the State of Alabama, whereupon they will challenge the constitutionality of Alabama’s refusal to recognize out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian Alabamians. A similar challenge in Kentucky just this week toppled that state’s ban on marriage equality, and you can bet it will here, too.

The lawsuit is on behalf of Paul Hard, a gay man and Alabama resident. Paul married his former partner, Charles David Fancher, in Massachusetts after same-sex marriage was legalized there. Fancher was later killed in a car crash north of Montgomery, and a wrongful-death case was filed on his behalf. Alabama, however, does not recognize same-sex marriages, so Hard is legally prohibited from sharing in any proceeds of the case.

That’s a lot to take in considering the recent actions of some of our state’s elected officials. So I’ll give you a moment. And I’ll give you several, Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Consider for a moment that two weeks ago one of Alabama’s U.S. representatives demeaned the entire LGBT community and offended the very group he was invited to speak to. Mike Rogers’ words were indeed so haughty that the Alabama Association of Realtors actually had to issue a statement decrying them, less their membership be further offended.

Or consider last week when Chief Justice Roy Moore wrote all 50 governors calling for a United States Constitutional Convention to overturn marriage equality nationwide. Moore is famous for being able to recall numerous passages in the Bible from memory, but he’s also infamous for shirking the law and denying a Federal Court order. It’s too bad that Moore’s mental capacity for recalling scripture does not include the ability to do basic math. Seventeen states already recognize the freedom to marry, and at least 34 must vote to ratify a proposed constitutional amendment … Judge Moore is short one state, but he’s not short on pandering.

Fret not, however, for the blissful ignorance does not stop there! Alabama state senators Bryan Taylor and Jerry Fielding are also sponsoring legislation calling for Judge Moore’s proposed convention.

 

Taylor, who is “retiring” after his current term expires, said on Twitter that he is sponsoring the legislation because one of his constituents asked him to. Well, I’m calling him a jackass because one of our readers asked me to. Rumors were then brought forth that it was a “wealthy donor” who had asked Taylor to sponsor the legislation. Whatever the case, I hope whoever it is “comes out” soon. We do deserve some answers, after all.

 

Fielding, on the other hand, is a turncoat who is making a desperate attempt to remain relevant. Formerly a Democrat, Fielding is now trying to show he was actually a red-blooded, Bible-thumping conservative all along! Fielding is trying to avoid having his ass handed to him by “true-conservative” opponent Rep. Jim McClendon (R – Springville). He’s doing so by singling out LGBT individuals and targeting them specifically. Fielding had no time to pre-file any bills that would create jobs, but he sure had plenty of time to hammer out a resolution on Duck Dynasty. Thank God someone is in Montgomery doing the people’s work.

When Roy Moore, Bryan Taylor and Jerry Fielding fly off to attend their bitter white man convention, can they stay there? If they must return, can someone ensure they take a course on basic algebra before doing so?

Make no mistake, these three are not the first and they will not be the last of Alabama politicians who resort to hate-mongering to cover their lack of credentials. Create jobs? They can’t help you there, but they’ll thump the Old Testament a time or two. Improve schools? No way, we must instead rid our state of those who are different. Improve access to healthcare for Alaba… well, you get the picture.

Like it or not, jurisprudence is coming to Alabama and same-sex couples will soon be granted their rights under the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution. Like it or not, Alabamians’ LGBT neighbors, teachers, classmates, hair dressers, mail carriers, football players and children will soon be treated like full-American citizens.

Marriage equality in Alabama is not a matter of Bible Belt throes, nor is it a matter of Old Testament fortitude. It is a matter of citizens in Alabama currently being less free than their other American counterparts; it is a matter of our nation being founded on the principal of freedom from religion, and the guarantee to the pursuit of happiness; it is about equal protection under the law.

Marriage equality is coming soon to Alabama, and that is a beautiful thing.

Follow West on Twitter at @WestHoneycutt

West Honeycutt is a small business owner in Birmingham, Alabama. He has formerly worked for political consulting firms in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery, AL.