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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, 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


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, 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...

Continue reading "Alabama House Votes to Allow Officials to Refuse to Conduct Marriages for Same-Sex Couples" »

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


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


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" »

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Will Bring His Traveling Anti-Gay Marriage Circus To Texas


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is taking his anti-gay-marriage show on the road. From a press release:

Conservative Republicans of Texas, Campaign for Texas Families, and other conservative organizations and leaders will sponsor a Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally on the south steps of the Texas Capitol on Monday, March 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm.  Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy S. Moore will deliver a keynote address describing his continuing efforts to preserve Alabama’s right to determine the definition of marriage.  

MooreMoore and the rest of the state Supreme Court issued a decision this week halting same-sex marriages, temporarily, in Alabama. Of course, marriage equality hasn't arrived in Texas, but presumably Moore will be providing tips on what to do if and when that happens.

Not that Texas legislators really need any such advice. They've already introduced legislation to bar county clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. And Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking to void the marriage of a 30-year lesbian couple, one of whom has ovarian cancer. Frankly, Texas legislators probably shouldn't be taking advice from Moore, since he was unable to stop same-sex marriages from occurring in Alabama for several weeks. 

From the press release: 

Marriage is a God ordained institution between a man and a woman and it is the fundamental foundation of families and of ordered societies: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:5).

In the November 8, 2005 General Election, the citizens of Texas passed, by an overwhelming margin of 76% to 24%, a Marriage Amendment to the Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 32, which provides that “Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.”

The press release doesn't mention that turnout in that election 10 years ago was 18 percent, or that some polls show more Texans now support same-sex marriage than oppose it: 

The purpose of this rally is to protect and preserve Biblical marriage. The Texas Legislature and state legislatures around the country can stop the federal courts’ encroachment on states’ rights to determine the definition of marriage. Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr., and Sen. Charles Perry have filed legislation that would prohibit any state or local government employee from issuing marriage licenses in violation of the Texas Constitution.  It would also prohibit the expenditure of taxpayer dollars for that purpose. The legislation is aimed at preserving Texas’ right to determine how marriage is defined.

We all know nationwide same-sex marriage is likely coming in June. With any luck, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will lift a stay of a federal judge's ruling striking down Texas' marriage ban prior to Moore's visit. If that happens, several Texas county clerks have already committed to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Wouldn't it be nice if gay couples could join Moore on the Capitol steps to cut their wedding cakes?   


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