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Alabama Bill Would Allow Faith-Based Adoption Agencies To Refuse Gay Couples: VIDEO

A bill introduced last week to the Alabama Legislature could allow adoption agencies, including those with state contracts, to refuse to place children with gay couples on religious grounds, reports Beaumont Enterprise.

AllenSponsored by Republican Senator Gerald Allen (right), the bill would also prohibit Alabama from refusing to license or contract with groups refusing services to people on religious grounds.

The bill is wide-ranging in scope as it does not specify gay couples. Rather, it allows faith-based groups to refuse services that violate any of their religious beliefs.

Allen said the bill aims to protect religious groups, including children's homes affiliated with the Baptist and Catholic churches, in anticipation that the Supreme Court could legalize same-sex marriage later this year.

Eric Johnston, an attorney who worked on the bill, said that it allows religious groups to observe their own rights and beliefs but does not discriminate against gay couples.

However, opponents claim it would provide legal cover for discrimination against a diverse array of families seeking to adopt.

Human Rights Campaign Alabama state director R. Ashley Jackson said that "decisions about prospective parents should be based on the best interest of the child, not on discriminatory factors unrelated to good parenting.”

Johnston added that legislation is likely to soon be introduced to provide civil protections to florists, bakers and others who refuse to provide services at same-sex weddings.

Earlier this week, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (above, right) said that if he didn't speak out against same-sex marriage, he'd be guilty of treason.

Watch Moore compare same-sex marriage to slavery, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Alabama Bill Would Allow Faith-Based Adoption Agencies To Refuse Gay Couples: VIDEO" »


Alabama Federal Judge Refuses To Stay Gay Marriage Ruling

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07efa2c1970d-500wiU.S. District Judge Callie Granade has refused a request from a county judge to stay her ruling which struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage. Granade's order compels Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis (pictured right) to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Reuters reports:

Alabama's all-Republican Supreme Court had contravened that ruling earlier this month. It ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that the ban was constitutional.

The clashing court orders underscore the depth of opposition to gay marriage in socially conservative Alabama. The gay-marriage ban was passed in 2006 by 81 percent of voters.

Davis, in the face of the contradictory directives by a federal judge and the state Supreme Court, had halted issuing all marriage licenses, to same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and asked Granade to stay her ruling. She declined.

"Although the court would agree that the developments in these same-sex marriage cases has at times seemed dizzying, the court finds that Judge Davis has not shown that a stay is warranted," Granade wrote in the order.

Judge Granade's order seems to make clear that her ruling, not the State Supreme Court's, should take precedence.


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's Son Arrested on Drug Possession Charges

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's 24-year-old son Caleb was arrested Sunday for drug possession near the scene of an attempted break-in in the town of Troy, AL.com reports:

Caleb mooreAccording to court documents, officers responded to the 1200 block of Allen Street in Troy to a report of an attempted home break-in. They found five men, including Moore, outside near a pickup truck that smelled strongly of marijuana.

After the men said there were no drugs in the vehicle, officers searched the truck and found a bag of marijuana in the glove compartment, along with Moore's passport. Several Xanax pills also were found in the bag.

Moore was arrested and taken to the city jail. He was released on bond totaling $8,500.

Roy Moore, who is bringing his fight against gay marriage to Texas later this month, declined to comment saying his son's arrest was a personal matter. 

Joe.My.God notes this is Caleb's third arrest. 


Alabama House Votes to Allow Officials to Refuse to Conduct Marriages for Same-Sex Couples

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The Alabama House of Representatives gave its approval yesterday to legislation giving judges, ministers and other officiants the right to refuse to conduct marriage ceremonies for LGBT couples, AL.com reports:

Rep. Jim Hill, R-Moody, said he sponsored the bill after receiving phone calls from judges and ministers concerned they would be required to perform marriages ceremonies they didn't want to perform.

House Bill 56, the Freedom of Religion in Marriage Protection Act, passed 69-25. The bill now moves on to the Senate for consideration.

In session today, Rep. A.J. McCampbell, D-Livingston, asked Hill:  "Why all of a sudden has this become an issue?"

Hill replied: "I can't answer that, sir."

Tears came to the eyes of Rep. Patricia Todd (pictured above), D-Birmingham, as she spoke against the bill on the House floor. Todd, the only openly gay legislator in the state, said the bill was drafted to discriminate against gay couples who want to marry.

"This is very hurtful to me as an openly gay person," she said.

The Montgomery Advertiser adds:

The legislation says "no church, synagogue, society or religious organization" can be sued over a refusal to provide accommodations or services "related to the recognitions, solemnization or celebration of a marriage."

Both Hill and critics said that current law does not force ministers to conduct marriages they oppose. But language surrounding recognition and accommodation, say opponents, could allow religiously-affiliated organizations like hospitals to deny services to same-sex couples, like visitation rights. 

Watch Todd and other lawmakers react to the vote, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Larry King and Johnny Galecki Mock Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's Anti-Gay Stupidity: VIDEO

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Larry King and Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki sat down for a chat this week and had a cackle over Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore after King asked Galecki to name one thing he'd change about the world.

Watch them laugh at a desperate bigot, AFTER THE JUMP...

(h/t good as you)

Continue reading "Larry King and Johnny Galecki Mock Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's Anti-Gay Stupidity: VIDEO" »


WATCH LIVE: President Obama Marks 50th Anniversary of Selma-Montgomery March With Call to Action

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President Obama is in Selma, Alabama today to mark the 50th Anniversary of the landmark civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. He is expected to lead the tribute at the Edmund Pettus Bridge (the site of the "Bloody Sunday" violence in 1965) with a speech at 12:15pm ET.

The AP reports:

Dozens of charter buses and thousands of people had already poured into the west Alabama town hours before Obama's speech.

The congressional delegation will include U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, an Alabama native who was among the marchers seriously injured in the violence 50 years ago. Congressional Republican leaders were to be absent from the event, but House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio released a statement.

"Today, 50 years after the Selma to Montgomery marches began, the House honors the brave foot soldiers who risked their lives to secure the blessings of liberty for all Americans," he said.

Watch the live feed, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Wall Street Journal is also marking the occasion with a look back on photographer Dan Budnik's startling images of Selma and other events documented at the time.

Continue reading "WATCH LIVE: President Obama Marks 50th Anniversary of Selma-Montgomery March With Call to Action" »


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