Alabama is the third most religious state in the United States and has stood firmly in the Bible Belt’s opposition to marriage equality. Last week a judge ruled that Alabama’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional and couples anxiously awaited Monday morning, only to have the judge issue a last minute, two week stay on her ruling pending appeal to a higher court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Needless to say, the religious right and the conservative politicians who pander to them in Alabama are not happy to say the very least. I can tell you that religious conservatives here in Louisiana (my own family included) are absolutely petrified of a ruling that would nullify the ban on gay marriage.
However, one Alabama lawmaker who happens to be gay is not having any of it, according to Decatur Daily:
State Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, had a warning for her Statehouse colleagues over the weekend.
“I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have,” Todd, the state’s only openly gay lawmaker, said on Facebook over the weekend. “I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet out.”Todd was responding to comments from her fellow lawmakers after Friday’s decision by a federal judge to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.
“It is pretty well known that we have people in Montgomery who are or have had affairs …” Todd told the Decatur Daily and TimesDaily this morning. “I just want them to be careful what they’re saying, some of it might come back to stick on them.”
Todd said she hurt and angered by some of the remarks and backlash she has heard since Friday.
“But I know I’m on the side that is going to win and I’m sorry they’re so ignorant,” she said. (Source)
It’s no wonder the religious right is freaked out. Except for a couple of dissenting rulings that are forcing the Supreme Court to take up the issue later this year, 36 states no longer have bans on marriage equality. If the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to hear Friday’s ruling, then Alabama would become the 37th state to allow gay marriage.
This would also mean approximately 3/4’s of the bans in the United States would have been tossed onto the scrapheap of history. Of course the religious right has their backs up against a wall and politicians like Sally Kern, an Oklahoma state representative, are filing bill after bill to allow discrimination in their states against gay people.
HB 1597 would allow businesses to refuse to provide goods, services or accommodations to gay, bisexual or transgendered people.
HB 1598 would give Oklahomans the right to seek or to enroll their children in conversion therapy which is designed to help people change the sexual orientation or get rid of same-sex attractions. California and New Jersey have outlawed the controversial practice.
HB 1599 would make it illegal for any public employee to recognize or grant same-sex marriage licenses. The bill also calls for dismissing any legal challenges to the law and immediately removing a judge from office if they do not follow the law. (Source)
As the laws against equality are struck down one by one, far-right politicians are trying to at least make discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity legal. I think it’s fair to fight fire with fire when it comes to irrational hatred like these pro-discrimination laws and State Rep. Patricia Todd has the right idea. If these lawmakers want to claim to be champions of the “sanctity of marriage” then they should practice what they preach, or they can just stand aside as Alabama finally joins the 21st century.
Latest posts by Manny Schewitz (see all)
- It Looks Inevitable, Donald Trump Will Eventually Be The Republican Nominee - January 17, 2016
- Donald Trump Is Now Using Ted Cruz’s Canadian Birth Against Him - January 14, 2016
- Hillary Clinton’s False Statements On Bernie Sanders’ Healthcare Record Are Disgraceful - January 14, 2016