Archive for the ‘same sex marriage’ Category

>More reasons not to vote Republican; and …

October 28, 2010

>Keith Olbermann took up where I left off in his Special Comment last night regarding the upcoming election and the Republican Tea Party candidates. Fortunately none of these candidates are from Alabama, but that doesn’t mean the Republican candidates here don’t have the same backward moving ideas that these candidates support.

Part 2

I know you might not have time to watch these two videos, so let me summarize.

The Republican Tea Party want to elect candidates who will…well, if you think Jim Crow was bad, just wait and see. They are trying to scare white voters by instilling fear of the different folk. Oh sure, the targets are brown instead of black this time, but it is no different than the racist candidates of the past trying to scare white voters in to voting for the racist candidates. Remember Jesse Helms?

Senator Hank Sanders is concerned. “I ain’t going back to the cotton fields and Jim Crow days,” he said in a robocall urging people to vote for “Ron Sparks, Jim Folsom and others who would do right by all of us.”

So here’s the deal. When you vote for Republicans, you empower that party and those within the party that do want to return to Jim Crow days, that do want to return to pre-Lawrence v Texas days, that do want to do away with Social Security, that do want to take Alabama children off of the insured list and return them to the uninsured list (Robert Bentley wants to repeal health care reform. He’s a doctor, yet would remove children from their insurance).

And what will the Republicans in Washington focus on after the election? Their Senate leader let us know. If you only watch one of these videos today, watch this one.

Ok, that concludes the negative portion of this post. Now for the positive.

The president appeared on The Daily Show last night, where he reminded us of the accomplishments that have been made during the past 2 years, and that the change we were hoping for is ongoing, and that the promise was not that we would see change that we can believe in within 18 months.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 1
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Part 2

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 2
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Part 3

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 3
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

The president also met with progressive bloggers (my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail) yesterday. Read a transcript here of what he said about DADT and gay marriage. Here’s a bit of it.

But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.

And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.

So…the President’s attitude, like the country’s as a whole, is changing. “The arc of history,” he said.

>Equality: it belongs to you and me

August 11, 2010

>There are some people in Bessemer and really, everywhere, that need to see this.

My friend Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend has shared this video of Coretta Scott King speaking at the 1996 Atlanta Pride Festival.

Some people do not understand that equality belongs to everyone. She, and her husband, certainly did.

I certainly tried to make that point in my book, Those Others, and a review that came out yesterday recognizes that. Read it here.

Look for my upcoming article on the Prop 8 overturn in Noise Magazine. I’ll let you now when it comes out.

I’m not going to post the videos and rants from those who disagree with the Judge’s opinion because there are no valid arguments against it. His perceived sexuality has nothing to do with it. The misinterpretation of the Bible has nothing to do with it. The constitution and our founding documents are about equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere do those documents (nor the Bible) say “for straight people.”

“Justice is indivisible,” Mrs. King said. “The church burners and the gay bashers drink from the same poisonous well of hatred…”

I would add that some of the church leaders drink from that well of poison as well. And some talk radio hosts. And the “professional right.”

>Boies and Olson continue to persuade

August 9, 2010

>Get used to it.

I mean, I could get used to looking at pictures of people solidifying their commitment.

The right to marry the person you love has always been in our constitution, and we are now moving toward the recognition of that right.

These pictures of loving couples are courtesy of a google search.

David Boies and Ted Olson did a super job in the courtroom in tearing down Prop 8, and they convinced Judge Walker of the validity of their case.

They are now doing the same with the public, on Fox News and on CBS, on the Sunday talk shows.

Chris Wallace, Fox News, “I gotta say after your appearance today I don’t understand how you ever lost a case on the Supreme Court sir.”

Watch the entire interview, it’s just 6:38 long.

Meanwhile, his legal buddy David Boies took on Tony Perkins on CBS and Face the Nation.

So here’s the deal. We’ve said for years that the key to Equality is coming out, talking to our neighbors and co-workers, and that when people know us, and understand the discrimination on a personal level, their attitudes, and their degree of support, changes.

That is true.

But now this case has become a teachable moment, or a lot of teachable moments. Unless you read the ruling (which was pasted on this blog a few days ago) or followed the case as it was developing, you missed out on the personal aspects of it and how the plaintiffs were affected.

But you cannot miss the legal truths that have been revealed, and the explanation of those truths, which can be found in the 138 page ruling, or heard by listening to the successful attorneys. And every time one of these guys is on TV, more people are made aware of the constitutionality of the ruling, and minds are changed, and public opinion moves more in the direction of Equality.

Now, enjoy a few more pictures.

>Prop 8: the ruling

August 5, 2010

>You gotta love the 14th amendment of the U. S. Constitution.

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That clause should mean that my partner and I shall be able to marry, just like all three of my brothers have, to the person I love.

It may take a few years, but that will be the law of the land in Alabama before its over with.

Yesterday, Judge Vaughn Walker wrote:

“…Prop 8 both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation.”

And more.

Here is the entire ruling (I’m having a hard time loading the whole thing here. Come back if you can’t see it now).

Prop 8 Ruling

I love it when people express their feelings.

Here’s Sam Harris.

Remember, I posted a video by Sam after Prop 8 was passed. He expressed his feeling at that time also.

Anyway, the ruling is a huge victory, if you are interested in Equality and Liberty. I will be writing more about this for a magazine!

The confirmation of Elena Kagan today is a great thing, as well.

>Letters to the Western Tribune

March 25, 2010

>A firestorm was started when The Western Tribune printed a letter from Snuffy Garrett equating loving relationships between members of the same sex to having sex with a horse. The Western Tribune received at least 24 letters in opposition and printed two.

The Western Tribune has now ceased to operate, and I know that some who wrote or commented will have no problem with this, since the paper did not change its ways and continued to print the letters from Snuffy, including at least one again using the sodomy and animal comparison, and which was directed at me, by name.

Of the 24 letters letters submitted, in addition to the ones printed, I have access to 11 more. the rest of the letters, according to the former editor, were destroyed because they contained profanity.

I believe these letters better illustrate the objections to Snuffy’s comparison than the ones chosen for print. With the demise of the Western Tribune, this will serve as a “last word” on the issue (unless Snuffy gains access to our other local paper, the Western Star).

I am printing these letters as they were submitted to the paper for publication.


Last account I looked we were all created by GOD and my GOD is a very loving being. How your personal views are concerning who I wish to love and wake up next to in the morning is my business. But on that note I think HOMOSEXUALS deserve the same right to be as miserable as HETEROSEXUALS. So he who is without sin may cast the first stone. Sincerely yours loved by GOD, JEFF DABBS


How dare you print such garbage for people to read! I am a gay woman and also own a horse farm and that statement pisses me off. I bet old Snuffy teaches that masturbation is wrong in the eyes of God, but I can only wonder how many “loving relations” he has had with his own damn mule!! Shame on all of you who pass judgement on others! Love Has No Gender! God made us and God Loves Us. Lori


The Western Tribune should print an apology for printing hateful speak, and should refrain from publishing any letters or columns that degrade any segment of our society. On Feb. 24, 2010 you allowed a letter to be written into your paper that compared loving same-sex relationships to sex with a horse. That is a complete hateful and wrongful letter. The bible also condemns sex before marriage, working on the sabbath, eating shell fish and a whole list of other things.

Do you plan to run a letter in your paper that says ” All women who have had sex before marriage should be stoned to death?” or ” All people who work on the sabbath or visit a place that makes employees work on the sabbath should be put to death for breaking a 10 commandment? I doubt you would.

Yet you allow a letter to be published that puts down every gay relationship based on the ideas of some misguided bigot. Shame on your paper.

That letter was a defamation of my character, and I am more than a sex act in a bedroom behind closed doors. Plus there are thousands upon thousands straight couples who practice sodomy as well, so to single out gays was a complete and utter disrespect.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender are productive, tax-paying, caring members of society and should never be defamed in the media. America was founded on the idea of freedom and equal rights for all citizens. True inclusive community will treat all its diverse members with respect.

No longer a reader of your biased uninformed hateful paper.


A recent letter to your publication was offensive to a minority group. In this letter, the uninformed writer equated marriage equality to “marriage with a horse.”

I have been legally married to my spouse for 7 years after a trip to a state which lives up to the standards of freedom upon which our nation was founded. Our marriage is similar to those of our brothers and sisters whom God created differently.

In our marriage, I often cook while my spouse mows the lawn. I wash clothes while my spouse checks the oil on our vehicles. I drive her mother to the airport; she calls my mother on her birthday. The audacity of printing a letter reducing this God-given love to some perverted extent indicates a lack of sensitivity and intelligence not only on the part of the letter writer, but on the part of the editorial staff who chose to print it. Just as discrimination against racial minorities should not be allowed, neither should discrimination against sexual minorities. In the words of MLK- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Elisa Macon


I was shocked to have read an insert from the letter that Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett’s wrote on February 24th and that it was printed in the Western Tribune. Yes people have the right of freedom of speech, however when it comes at the cost of spreading hate, I feel that it is uncalled for. I think that those of us in the public eye, including businesses, and media sources have a responsibility to do everything in our power not to encourage anything that has to do with hate or mistreatment of others. I would hope that in the future you would be careful of the things you print, because once in print they can not be undone.

As a Minister I can think of many different scriptures that can go along with this letter; however there is one that really comes to mind.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not parish but, have eternal life. (NIV)

Whoever to me does not say “only heterosexuals”, but also includes Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people. We are all children of God and at some point must learn to start treating each other as brothers and sisters. I hope and pray in the future the Western Tribune would try and do the same.

Blessings in Christ
Minister Tony E. Haynes

I am writing in strong disappointment regarding the letter published in your paper (Feb. 24th, 2010) relating same-sex relationships to having sex with horses.

This is very concerning as same-sex couples are very similar to any other committed and loving relationship.

The letter published, not only embarrasses your paper but is also noted as slang and a form of discrimination.

Same-Sex couples are just as human as you, and if anything the most significant difference between you and I is the discrimination I face daily.

Attached you may find some Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender statistics that possible you could write a positive and educating story on.

Warmest Regards,

Caleb Laieski

Caleb Laieski Director of Legislative Affairs

Please print a retraction on Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett’s inflammatory letter. As a Gay man, I take offense his illogical, ignorant and divisive letter. It is obvious this person is very ignorant of The Bible. HE is nothing more than a clanging symbol and is putting words into “God’s” mouth, thinking he knows what God wants and thinks. We, the LGBT community expect a formal apology.

Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett said that God condemns homosexuals and sodomy. Nowhere in the Bible does God condemn “sodomy.” The word “Sodomy” does not exist in the Bible. People, erroneously attribute the act of anal sex to Sodomy because of a misinterpretation of the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the 18th Chapter of Genesis in the Old Testament of The Bible. Only modern translations suggest that the city was full of homosexuals, which is erroneous.

I will not belabor this point, but God had decided to destroy the twin cities prior to the incidents outside of Lot’s house. Ezekiel 16: 49-50 states why God destroyed the cities, and “homosexual behavior” was not listed. If anything, America is in danger, because we are guilty of the very things that caused God to destroy those cities!

Also, the use of the word “Abomination,” in Ezekiel 16:49-50 does not mean anything but “a classification of sin.” It does not infer “homosexuality (or any sex sin, as most Evangelical would assume).” Since Sodom and Gomorrah were matriarchal societies–worshipping female deities, the abomination was idolatry. The term Sodomy really means “being from Sodom,” and is as ridiculous as saying someone committed “Bessemery,” to mean robbery or a mugging or tax evasion. See how ridiculous?

On to Leviticus. The scriptures that Mr. Garrett probably inferred are probably Leviticus 18:22 & 20: 13-14, which are laws for procreation, not against homosexuality. This law was written For the Levite Tribe. God does condemn sex between two men, but not between two women. This was to enforce the law to procreate so that the people would have enough babies to carry on their legacy. They had to separate, subdue and survive in the wilderness. They also had to maintain their armies. This took babies and lots of them.

As for laws, there were 613 of them. God also condemned eating shellfish, touching a woman while she was on her period, touching swine, eating pork, eating undercooked meat, wearing clothing of mixed materials (microfiber, wool blends, rayon, polyester), planting different crops in the same fields, touching the dead, having sex without the explicit intention of having children, working on the Sabbath (Saturday).

Now, how many of these sins does Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett” commit daily?

There are 613 laws that he must live by, if he is to condemn loving gay relationships as condemned by God. God also had 612 other laws…but applicable only to the Jews. The book of James, says “if you live by the law and break one of the laws, you are guilty of breaking all of the laws.” James 2:10. Uh oh. Mr. Garrett, is guilty of homosexuality…it is in the Bible! If you break one of the (613) laws, you are guilty of breaking them all!

I am sure that Mr. Garrett is a Christian and not a Jew. Therefore he subscribes to Christ’s Sacrifice for Righteousness, and the Old Testament Law (even the 10 Commandments) wasn’t written to make you righteous. In fact, The Ten Commandments are obsolete now, according to Matthew 22:36-40. Jesus broke the law-every time as a way to prove the law was obsolete, and He was putting the law in its place. People like Mr. Garrett keep trying to use the law as a way to grace. Jesus came as a new priest and this absolved the Old Laws – all 613 of them! Jesus is the new priest and brought a new law! Hebrews 7:11-19 and 4:14. Jesus, the new High Priest said nothing about homosexuality; if it was so offense to God, why didn’t Jesus say something about it? If Jesus was quiet on this subject, why is Mr. Garrett so strung out?

Nick Jones

I wanted to write a quick response to a recent article that compared someone being in a loving relationship with the same sex the same as loving a horse.

I am sure that you truly do not believe what you wrote, because if that was true then I am sure that you agree that eating shellfish is a sin too, just as the Bible states in Leviticus.

I ask you to step back and think to yourself, is God asking me to hate people. I am then sure that you will find that God has never asked us to hate anyone, just to love one another.

I pray for the best for you!
Michael J Smith

Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett needs to learn that humans who love each other may be of the same gender, and that these loving relationships may include sex. Snuffy also needs to seek some kind of therapy because he is overly concerned about what other people may be doing in their sex lives. Further, he equates sex with a horse with sex between two loving people.

Now what normal person ever has sex with a horse cross his mind? Or obsesses about other people’s sex lives? I’ve met people of all orientations, and none of them thought about the horse option. Just Snuffy.

So apparently, Snuffy has some sort of sexual problem, which is allowed for some reason to be expressed publicly through his hate talk. Doesn’t this paper have any discretion? The Western Tribune should apologize.

People used to equate sex and marriage between blacks and whites the same way, complete with Biblical references. But today we recognize that as hate talk. Because the injustice and inhumanity of that hate talk became so obvious to America, we as a nation decided it must end. We took steps as a nation that believes fundamentally in equality to bring the same full equality to blacks, including being able to love and marry the person they choose. If a newspaper published a letter like this one from sick Snuffy, with blacks substituted instead, it would be obvious hate speech.

So why did Snuffy’s letter get published?

Stephen Brittle

As a legally married same sex couple in and from Alabama (we went to MA in 2008 to be legally married) I think I can speak for many of us in AL. Religion has no place in this debate, since I have the same God in my religion as does your writer, but apparently mine is one of love and theirs is one of hate.

If the writer would like for religion to be involved in the government of the country, I suggest they move to a country where Theocracy is working so well, such as Iran.

If churches insist on getting involved politically in the processes of this country, then it is time to rethink the tax codes. Churches who get involved in political campaigns (i.e. LDS in California’s Prop 8 ballot) should have their tax exemption revoked. I think we could solve our budget crisis if we start taxing churches with political agendas.

The pulpit is for lifting up the congregation through inspiration, not creating a mob mentality through fear and hate.

I am appalled that such words were used to describe a loving relationship that can happen between two people of the same sex.

I know that in my lifetime the state of AL will be forced to recognize our marriage as a legal union.

Love is Love,

Jonathan F Cooper

Your paper is promoting hatred that has not been seen in this area since the water hoses of Bull Conner. My loving relationship with the person God chose for me should not be compared to f***ing a horse. How dare you?

We worship a God who loves diversity (one need only see nature in all its Glory to know this is fact) and Jesus preached liberal tolerance, but the hate-mongers who use the Bible as defense for their hatred have found a voice in your paper. Homosexuality occurs in every species our loving Father created, including his precious human children.

For the sake of love, for the sake of what is right, and for the sake of loving our God who created us, stop this hate


>Census chatter

March 17, 2010

>I’m sure that everyone who reads this blog is educated enough to know the importance of completing your Census form and sending it in, and how much more it costs to have a Census worker come to your house and get you to do it.

Census workers at the Bridge Jubilee in Selma this year

For gay and lesbian citizens in relationships this is a first time opportunity. After at first saying that same sex couples would not be counted, now we are told that we will be. None of that extrapolating results like was done after the 2000 Census to make educated guesses about the number of same sex couples.

OK, but we have choices to make. The form asks how Person 2 is related to Person 1. Among the choices are “Husband or wife”, “Roomer or boarder”, “Housemate or roommate”, and “Unmarried partner”. For those in serious relationships, “Husband or wife”, or “Unmarried partner”, are the choices to consider.

In our situation, we do consider ourselves married, or with the equivalency of marriage as far as our family, friends and Valentine’s Day cards are concerned. We may have come close to getting married in 2008 but Prop 8 interfered. So we have no legal status of marriage and none of the over 1000 Federal and state benefits that married heteros have.

We do have friends in this state who are legally married (in other states) but whose marriage is not recognized here, or by the feds.

The Census instructions say that “common law” marriages count in the husband or wife category.

The Census folks say that we will be counted. That both those who check “Husband or wife” or “Unmarried partner” will be counted as “same-sex couples” (if the Person 1 is of the same sex as Person 2).

We checked “Unmarried partner” because if we consider ourselves married on the only federal form that gives us that option, then it seems we have nothing left to fight for. In other words, if all the gay couples considered themselves married on this form, it could be said by the marriage foes that we already have marriage in our own eyes.

Please complete your form appropriately, whether you are gay or str8, married or not, and mail it in because it does help determine how we are represented in Washington and the number of federal $ we get.

Be counted!

>When I get married, I’m gonna wear shoes

January 12, 2010

>These sentences got me thinking.

***Note: I just wanted to clarify that I don’t hate homosexuals. I actually know a couple gay and lesbian people and they’re great folks. This, however, does not mean that I agree with their lifestyle choices.

This is part of a post from The Barefoot Bride, a blog about weddings, where the writer is being critical of this article from the Winter issue of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. In the article, Jeremy and Andrew’s wedding is featured, quite nicely I might add.

Joe.My.God created a post about it and then Homer did as well, so I might as well add my 2 cents worth.

So, back to the quote.

I just wanted to clarify that I don’t hate homosexuals. I actually know a couple gay and lesbian people and they’re great folks. This, however, does not mean that I agree with their lifestyle choices.

I am so tired of people claiming to like gays as they think its OK to treat us as second class citizens.

I agree with Homer’s response:

My response: “Back in the 1960s a lot of Ku Klux Klan folks knew great Negroes too, as long as they kept in their place and didn’t clamor for the same rights that the Bible granted White folks.”

She also said this:

I may not always agree with the lifestyles and life choices made by all the people featured in every publication I read, but I do not appreciate picking up my favorite magazine to see photographs of homosexual couples being affectionate.

I grew up in the 60’s, and while I may not specifically remember this, I bet there was a time when The Birmingham News did not feature photos of black weddings. And I bet when the first photos appeared, that similar comments were made and letters written to the paper by white Alabamians who were offended by seeing black people being “affectionate.”

Homer said that he was taught that whenever he learned of someone’s plans to marry that he should offer “congratulations” regardless of his personal feelings.

“The more I think about your blog post, the more I keep coming back to the very basic thing I was taught about weddings. When someone tells you that will be or have been recently married, the only proper response is “Congratulations.” Anything else, no matter what you think of the situation, is just bad manners.”

As for people that may know my partner and me but share the view that the barefoot bride holds, that we are “great folks” yet think it’s OK that we be treated as second class citizens, I don’t need you. I have enough friends that support equality that I don’t need to waste time associating with those who look at me as less than equal.

And I will continue to confront you and your pre-historic views. If I choose to show affection to my partner in your presence and you are offended, that is your problem, not mine.

And if you (or others like you) are showing affection in public, or discussing your dinner plans with your spouse in front of me and my kids, then I have the right to discuss our plans in front of you and your kids. Like the other day when we were getting haircuts. My partner finished first, while I was still waiting among kids and adults. He told the person at the counter that he wanted to pay for mine as well, and she said to just wait until after my cut.

When I finished, he was in conversation with some people sitting around him, so I pulled out my card to pay. “You wanted to pay both of yall’s, right,” the cashier asked, motioning toward my partner. “Right,” I replied, “but that means he has to pay for dinner,” which started a whole conversation about how we do this each time and where to go eat and such.

Everyone who works there knows we are a couple, so the conversation was just chatter to them. The adults sitting there had to realize that we are a gay couple, and maybe the kids figured it out, or asked questions later.

My point is, people need to see gay and lesbian couples in public, not ashamed of who they are, acting naturally.

If we feel the urge to kiss in IHOP or snuggle for warmth while standing in line in sub-freezing temperatures, and you are offended, then that is your problem, not mine. If your kids don’t understand then you are at fault for not explaining to them about the diverse world they live in, and you can let it be a teaching moment.

OK, I’ll climb down off the soapbox and work on our own wedding plans. And when it happens, I will be sure and let the barefoot bride know. Oh, and we will both be wearing shoes when we marry.

>Around town, in DC and Besen at UAB

November 3, 2009

>Around Town

For several days I have driven by this trash can in my neighborhood with the words “Help Keep Our City Clean” on the side. The garbage trucks have picked up garbage in this neighborhood at least twice with the corner looking this way. I’m just saying…

Downtown, at the corner of Fourth Avenue North and Twentieth Street, this burned out building has begun to come down. The bricks are being saved. Recycle, reuse, reduce waste…

In D.C.

In Washington DC, the city council is considering allowing same sex marriage, and hearings have been taking place. Yesterday the hearings got personal as a witness named Andy proposed to his partner named Andy (who accepted). Not everyone was pleased, but the council was. I wonder how the Bessemer council would react if a spectator (or council member) proposed during a session…to a member of the same sex? Of course, in this news report, opponents of same-sex marriage voice the same lies we hear everywhere.

Supporters of equality are closely watching what happens in Maine and Washington State, and Kalamazoo, Michigan today.

Wayne Besen coming to UAB

I am so pleased to share that on Thursday, November 5, Wayne Besen will be at Hill University Center at UAB to take on the ex-gay industry. Details here. This is a great opportunity for young people, gay teens, questioning youth, parents and the public in general to hear the truth about the harmful effects of attempts to change one’s sexual orientation. Make plans now…and spread the word.

This event is being sponsored by The Alliance for GLBT Equality at UAB, the Office of the Vice President for Equity and Diversity at UAB, Equality Alabama, PFLAG, Central Alabama Pride and Covenant Community Church.


October 26, 2009

>There is an effort underway to ban divorce in California, based on the same arguments used to pass Prop 8, which took away the right of couples to marry in that state. Namely, protecting traditional marriage, and protecting the children.

Live blogging from Lala’s trial here , not much going on yet. It’s 9:51 and the attorneys are just now returning to the courtroom from the judge’s chambers. Here we go!

Why in the world would the senate even consider health care reform with a public option where states can opt out. How fair is that? I live in a state where one company has a practical monopoly, and where the public option option is desperately needed. But we are also probably one that would opt out. So where does that leave us? Separate but unequal, that’s where.

We need a public option. Plain and simple.

Did you know that slavery existed long after the Civil War in Alabama? Especially in Bibb, Jefferson and Shelby counties. More on this later.

The Tea Party Express is coming to Birmingham on November 9. At noon, at Linn Park. I hope that good supporters of health care reform and those who support our president will be there to contrast with the crazies.

>Western Tribune column, October 21, 2009, Same-Sex Marriage

October 21, 2009

>This Western Tribune column might turn some heads in Bessemer.


I keep having to remind people that we are living in 2009 and every once in a while I remember why. Earlier this month a Louisiana justice of the peace refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. This was out of concern for any children the couple might have, the justice said.

If he were to look around in the 21st century, he would realize that a child of an interracial couple can achieve the two highest honors in the country – president of the United States and American Idol winner. Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and Jordin Sparks was voted American Idol winner in 2007.

Loving v Virginia was the civil rights case that legalized interracial marriage in 1967. But did you know that the ban on interracial marriage up to that point was based on an Alabama case, Pace v Alabama, in which the Supreme Court affirmed that Alabama’s ban on miscegenation was constitutional?

Tony Pace, a black man, and Mary Cox, a white woman were actually charged with fornication and were imprisoned because of their love.

The court at that time condemned all sexual relations between whites and blacks regardless of marital status. The court argued that it was the duty of the state to protect the institution of marriage, similar to arguments used today against same sex marriage.

Details of Tony Pace and Mary Cox have been lost to history, but we can assume they knew their actions were illegal, yet their desire for intimacy was strong enough that they ignored the law.

There is no law against intimate relations between same sex couples. Some seem to be unaware that the sodomy laws in the United States were struck down by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v Texas, in 2003.

As a result, there is no legal basis for the various bans on same sex marriage across the nation, other than the anti-marriage amendments themselves. Our own state of Alabama, sadly, passed an anti-marriage amendment in 2006, thus adding to a constitution in which a discriminatory statute must feel very comfortable.

I know several same sex couples now living in Alabama who were legally married in other states. At some point, their marriages will be recognized here.

As Lady Gaga recently said regarding equality in our country, “It is not equal if it’s sometimes.”

When equality is achieved, it will be full time.