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Apple Fires Anti-Gay Alabama Lobbyist

Tech giant Apple has terminated its contract with a former Republican state representative from Alabama, Jay Love, who has a long history of anti-gay views yet who had also recently been hired as a lobbyist for the company. The Washington Blade reports that when questioned about what role Love plays on behalf of Apple, the company commented that Love no longer works for them:

LoveKristin Huguet, an Apple spokesperson, said Monday her company doesn’t employ Love when asked if Apple was OK with his views and why he was hired in the first place. “Jay Love does not work for Apple nor does he do any lobbying on our behalf,” Huguet said. 

But if Apple has terminated its contract with Love, the process hasn’t formally been certified by the Alabama Ethics Commission. Vicky Manning, a lobbyist for the Alabama Ethics Commission, said she’s received no notification yet from Apple that Love’s contract was terminated. “As of yet, I do not have the termination statement in our office,” Manning said. “They have 10 days in which to submit any changes in their registration.” Over the course of his 10-year career as a Republican representing part of Montgomery in the state legislature, Love opposed same-sex marriage.

In the past, Love came out in strong opposition to the 2008 California Supreme Court decision that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage (only to be nullified of course by the passage of Proposition 8) and praising former Miss California Carrie Prejean who in 2009 voiced her support for "traditional" marriage. Love even introduced legislation commending Prejean. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook hails from Alabama and in October of last year criticized his home state for moving too slowly on LGBT equality:

"As a state, we took too long to take steps toward equality," Cook, one of this year's inductees into the Academy, said to a crowd gathered in the Old House Chamber at the Alabama State Capitol. "We were too slow on equality on African-Americans. We were too slow on interracial marriage. And we are still too slow on equality for the LBGT community."

The Washington Blade notes that Love declined to comment for their article.


GOP 2016 Hopefuls Punt on Alabama Gay Marriage Questions

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While Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's pageantry plays out over the gay marriage fight in his state, Politico notes a number of likely GOP 2016 contenders are choosing to sit this one out.

When pressed on the fight in the Deep South state, where the chief justice has ordered county officials to ignore a federal court ruling permitting same-sex marriages, likely GOP 2016 contenders reached by POLITICO or interviewed elsewhere have largely tried to sidestep specifics.

Even some of the most conservative hopefuls prefer instead to talk more broadly about federalism and states’ rights, comments that come as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right applicable nationwide.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s answer is a typical example: “The problem is, I just don’t know the details of what arguments they are using” in Alabama, he said, adding that while he has “always believed that marriage has always been defined by states and regulated by states and should continue to be,” he would respect the Supreme Court decision.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is pushing a constitutional amendment to require that the federal government defer to the states on same-sex marriage, also avoided discussing the particulars of the Alabama case. “My view is that marriage is a question for the states,” he said.

CarsonPolitico adds the one notable exception was Dr. Ben Carson (right), who defended Moore's obstructionist efforts and said Moore "understands the importance of preserving states’ rights in the modern post-Civil War world in which we live."

The article also goes on to point out how other contenders like Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee are addressing the Alabama question and the wider issue of a likely future where nationwide marriage equality is the law of the land. 

Read the full article here


Alabama State Rep. Pledges to Use 'Every Legislative Remedy and Tool' to Fight Gay Marriage

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The gay marriage fight in Alabama continues as State Rep. Will Ainsworth (above) is calling on Marshall County Probate Judge Tim Mitchell (below) to reverse his decision and refrain from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple this coming week reports AL.com. Ainsworth, a father of three and a former youth pastor, issued a statement last Thursday saying Mitchell shouldn’t cater to "ungodly" attacks on traditional marriage.

Said Ainsworth:

"As a Christian and former youth pastor, I cannot stand idly by while the wishes of almost 90 percent of Marshall County voters who supported the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment are being violated by liberal judges pursuing a political agenda.

"The probate judge in Marshall County, who is a Democrat, must not capitulate to the ungodly and immoral attacks on traditional marriage. If I were in his shoes, I would stand strong and hold my ground in defense of God's law, not the unconstitutional and immoral law being manufactured by liberal activists."

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 4.49.17 PMAinsworth’s statement follows Judge Mitchell’s proclamation last Thursday that he plans to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples this coming week starting on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Judge Mitchell cited U.S. District Judge Callie Granade’s mandate and that he plans on following her precedent.

Said Mitchell:

"Issuance of marriage licenses is a vital function of the probate office to the citizens of Marshall County. Under the terms of Judge Granade's order, I must now also issue marriage licenses to same-same-sex couples. I respect the rule of the law and I will abide by the order of Judge Granade, unless the federal courts of the courts of the state of Alabama provide further guidance or rulings on this issue. I appreciate the patience of all Marshall County citizens during this difficult time of transition."

Since Granade’s ruling, a majority of probate judges, including Mitchell, are now following Judge Granade's precedent. Ainsworth, like Bryan Fischer and his ilk, believe judges shouldn’t force individuals to violate their religious beliefs to satisfy a vocal minority, further relying on their baseless claims that gay marriage destroys societies. Ainsworth also declared he intends on fighting the "gay agenda" to the bitter end.

Said Ainsworth:

"Every society that has allowed the marriage covenant to be destroyed has withered away and vanished. I do not believe we should hate homosexuals because every person should be treated with love and respect, but something that is immoral does not become moral simply because an activist judge decided it is legal… 

"During the campaign, my signs carried the slogan 'Fight Obama,' and, make no mistake, the gay rights agenda is the bedrock of Obama's agenda. I will use the upcoming session to look for every legislative remedy and tool that can be used to protect our traditional, conservative Alabama values, and I will continue the fight even after others have surrendered."


Gay Marriage News Watch: AL, SCOTUS, Nationwide Equality - VIDEO

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AFER's Matt Baume reports on the ongoing situation in Alabama and the improving odds that we'll receive a pro-equality ruling from the Supreme Court later this year. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Marriage News Watch: AL, SCOTUS, Nationwide Equality - VIDEO" »


Roy Moore Tries to School President Obama on the Legality of Gay Marriage in Alabama: VIDEO

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Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace today to discuss same-sex marriage's arrival in Alabama. While Moore spent most of the interview attempting to explain the legal underpinnings of his continued fight against marriage equality, he also had a response message for President Obama - who spoke up about the reincarnated George Wallace during a recent Buzzfeed interview.

Said Moore:

"But what this Harvard professor who is president of the United States does not understand, is that a trial court’s decision on the constitutionality of a federal question is just that — it’s an opinion. It may be law of the case before her. It is not overturning the Alabama constitution. Federal law is not made by judges."

Wallace also asked Moore whether or not he would abide by the Supreme Court should it decide this year that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Roy Moore Tries to School President Obama on the Legality of Gay Marriage in Alabama: VIDEO" »


Alabama Supreme Court to Consider Liberty Counsel's Petition to Stop Issuance of Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

In a 6-2 decision late Friday, Alabama Supreme Court agreed to consider the Liberty Counsel's petition seeking an end to same-sex marriage licenses being issued by state probate judges. 

Liberty Counsel is currently representing eight Alabama counties refusing to issue marriage license to same-sex couples, despite U.S. District Judge Callie Granade's order Thursday signaling that probate judges are to follow her ruling overturning the state's ban on gay marriage.

AL.com reports

CourtChief Justice Roy Moore, who has been the most outspoken in advising probate judges not to issue same-sex licenses, was the only justice not listed as taking part in Friday's decision.

Also Friday, lawyers representing Equality Alabama, a group that supports same-sex marriage, filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief urging the Alabama Supreme Court to dismiss the petition. [...]

"This request before the Alabama Supreme Court is nothing but an attempt at delaying the happiness that all families deserve - a last-ditch, failing effort to stand in the way of the love we've seen in this historic week," Equality Alabama chairman Ben Cooper said in a prepared statement. "The petition should be dismissed, and all probate judges in every corner of the state should follow the law."

The court's order stated the briefs by probate judges, due February 18, should address issues raised by the petition, including whether the state Supreme Court even has jurisdiction to hear the petition.


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