Recognition of same-sex marriage (SSM) & LGBT equality
Part 23: Alabama:
Chief Justice Roy Moore may refuse to follow
rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Where marriage licenses are available.
Anti-equality demonstration at State Capitol.
In this web site, the acronym "SSM" refers to same-sex marriage. Also, "LGBT"
refers to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender/Transsexual community
2015-FEB-15: Chief Justice Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court may refuse to follow U.S. Supreme Court rulings:
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in late June or Early July that many commentators expect will legalize same-sex marriage across the entire United States.
On FEB-15, during an interview by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday Chief Justice Moore said that if the U.S. Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry that they would be changing "God's organic law" on marriage. He said that he:
"... would not be bound thereby. ... I could recuse or dissent as a justice from Delaware did in the Dred Scott case in 1857. They ruled black people were property. Should a court today obey such a ruling that is completely contradictory of the Constitution?"
Wallace compared that future hypothetical action with Moore's past refusal to obey a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state Capital Building in 2003. He said that in 2003:
"A state ethics panel said that you had to be removed from office because you had put yourself above the law. Are you doing the same thing now, sir?”
Moore responded that he was:
"... obeying the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which does not prohibit the acknowledgement of God. ... When federal courts start changing our Constitution by defining words that are not even there, like marriage, they’re going to do the same thing with family in the future. When a word is not in the Constitution, clearly, the powers of the Supreme Court do not allow them to re-define words and seize power. The power [that] is not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states ... [is] reserved to the states respectively or to the people." 1
As I recall, the U.S. Constitution doesn't mention television, the Internet, cell phones, railroads, automobiles, airplanes, health insurance, contraceptives, abortion access, and many other topics about which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.
2015-FEB-17: Availability of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Alabama:
As of FEB-17, Freedom to Marry reported that among the 67 counties in Alabama, from Autauga to Winston :
- 51 probate judges (76% of the total) were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.
- 6 probate judges were denying marriage licenses to all couples, whether they be of the same or opposite sex.
- 6 probate judges were issuing licenses to opposite-sex couples, but not to same-sex couples.
- 4 probate judges were unreachable.
Freedom to Marry mentioned that Equality Alabama and the ACLU of Alabama have set up a Marriage Equality Hotline at : 334.265.2754 for persons seeking up-to-date information. 2
2015-FEB-18: Another report on the availability of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Alabama:
Wikipedia displayed a map and summary showing the status of marriage licenses in the state. They reported:
- 47 counties with 82% of the Alabama population were issuing licenses to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
- 11 counties with 10% of the residents were issuing licenses to opposite-sex couples only.
- 9 counties with 8% of the population stopped issuing marriage licenses to anyone.
An analysis of the map showed that all same-sex couples could obtain marriage licenses either in the county where they lived, or in one or more counties sharing a border with theirs. 3
2015-FEB-21: Individuals who oppose marriage equality demonstrate at the State Capitol:
The Sanctity of Marriage Alabama (SOMA) sponsored two rallies at the state capital in Montgomery AL. This building was the first "White House of the Confederacy" back in the mid-19th Century. Their more recent gathering was on FEB-21, when about 300 people were present. Across the street, there were about 33 demonstrators who appear to be carrying pro-marriage equality signs, a U.S. flag, a picture of President Obama, and a LGBT rainbow flag.
Some of those opposed to marriage equality carried signs, most of which were hand-made. Taken together, they give a good indication of the protestors' beliefs. The slogans that we were able to read in full said:
- "Support Christian marriage."
- "Marriage is GOD's idea, not ours."
- "GOD created Marriage & defines it."
- "GOD made them Male & Female 4 a reason."
- "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a discrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34."
- "daddy + mama = me."
- "1 judge or 81% of AL voters?"
- "Marriage = 1 man & 1 woman."
- "Hear from Heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land."
- "Marriage is a SACRED Covenant"
- "Where are state's [sic] & voters' rights"
- "Man + woman = marriage. God's way. Genesis 2:24.
- "One man one woman"
- "GOD defines marriage!!!"
- "Stand with Judge Roy Moore."
- "We must stand. We can do no other," (A paraphrase of Martin Luther's famous statement.)
- "We will answer to God."
- God says NO!!! Alabama voters says NO!!!"
- There is still hope, America!
- Don't tread on Alabama law.
Their facebook page covers the protest in detail. It has 814 "likes" as of FEB-22. 4
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Rep. John Boehner sounds off on fight over Homeland Security funding; Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore explains stance on same-sex marriage," Fox News Sunday, 2015-FEB-15, at: http://www.foxnews.com/
- "#ALMarriage: County Information," Freedom to Marry, 2015-FEB-17, at: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/
- "Same-sex marriage in Alabama," Wikipedia, as on 2015-FEB-27, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
- "Sanctity of Marriage Alabama," Facebook, at: https://www.facebook.com/
Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2015-FEB-16
Latest update: 2015-MAR-03
Author: B.A. Robinson