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Alabama Probate Judges Org. Backs Down, Advises Members To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses If Stay Is Lifted

Searcy

With Alabama poised to become the 37th state with marriage equality on Feb. 9, an association of probate judges announced Wednesday it will no longer stand in the way. 

The Alabama Probate Judges Association — whose 67 members issue marriage licenses — previously took the position that last week's federal court decision striking down the state's marriage ban applied only to plaintiffs Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand (above). However, after U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade issued an order Wednesday clarifying that her ruling applies statewide, the association backed down. 

From AL.com

That means the final hope for opponents of same-sex marriage is that the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will agree to a request by the state to extend a "stay" Granade ordered delaying the ruling from taking effect until Feb. 9.

"It is the opinion of the Association, on the advice of legal counsel, that until the stay is lifted, probate judges cannot issue marriage licenses to same sex couples," Monroe County Probate Judge Greg Norris, the group's president, said in a prepared statement. "However, on the occasion that the stay is lifted, same sex couples may apply for marriage licenses."

The Washington Blade sheds light on the likely reasoning behind the group's decision to reverse course:  

Adam Romero, senior counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy scholar of law at the Williams Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, said the clarification makes clear the decision wasn’t specific to plaintiffs in the case.

“If and when that decision goes into effect, any Alabama official that enforces the state’s bans on same-sex marriage are in danger of not only being hauled into Judge Grande’s court and added to the pending lawsuit, but also getting hit with the costs of doing so,” Romero said.

Of course, it's still possible some probate judges will put their religious beliefs above the law or bow to pressure from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who plans to send a letter advising them not to issue licenses. But depending on the outcome of Attorney General Luther Strange's appeal to the 11th Circuit, same-sex couples in Alabama could be in store for a very special Valentine's Day. 


Openly Gay Alabama State Legislator Doubles Down On Threat To 'Out' Anti-Gay Lawmakers Having Extramarital Affairs: VIDEO

AL

As we reported earlier this week, Alabama's first and only openly gay state legislator Dem. Rep. Patricia Todd took to Facebook over the weekend to fire back at politicians alleging that gay marriage would erode "family values" should it become legal in Alabama. Todd called out the hypocrisy of many lawmakers using the rallying cry of "family values" to prop up their anti-gay views when they are having extramarital affairs. Todd's remarks came on the heels of a federal judge (appointed by George W. Bush) ruling that the state of Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Wrote Todd:

"I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about 'family values' when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have," Todd, the state's only openly gay lawmaker, said on Facebook over the weekend. "I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet out."

Todd was responding to comments from her fellow lawmakers after Friday's decision by a federal judge to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

"It is pretty well known that we have people in Montgomery who are or have had affairs …" Todd told the TimesDaily this morning. "I just want them to be careful what they're saying, some of it might come back to stick on them."

Todd has stuck to her message, appearing on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC on Tuesday night to discuss why she is going after anti-gay politicians by using their own dirty laundry against them:

"I just wanna remind [politicians who oppose gay marriage], they don’t have the corner on family values. There are thousands of gay couples across the state, many raising children, that have much stronger family values than they do. It’s an attempt to try to cool the rhetoric…if you want to talk to me of the merits of the issue then that’s fine. But I’m not going to let you get away with a five second sound bite where you condemn me and my community."

Todd also weighed in Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice's Roy Moore's comments that he would not respect or uphold any federal judge's ruling that allows same-sex couples to wed as such decisions were "judicial tyranny" in his eyes.

Watch Todd tackle the right's hypocrisy on family values, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Openly Gay Alabama State Legislator Doubles Down On Threat To 'Out' Anti-Gay Lawmakers Having Extramarital Affairs: VIDEO" »


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Won't Recognize Tyrannical Pro-Gay Marriage Rulings

Moore

In a letter to Republican Governor Robert Bentley, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore made clear he would not recognize Judge Callie V.S. Granade's rulings declaring Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Said Moore, "I will continue to recognize the Alabama Constitution and the will of the people overwhelmingly expressed in the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment." Moore called upon Governor Bentley to remain stalwart against the forces of equality. Moore went on to call Judge Granade's rulings a form of "judicial tyranny." Via AL.com:

"I ask you to continue to uphold and support the Alabama Constitution with respect to marriage, both for the welfare of this state and for our posterity," Moore continued at the end of the letter. "Be advised that I stand with you to stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority."

Moore further declared, "As you know, nothing in the United States Constitution grants the federal government the authority to redefine the institution of marriage." He also called the arguments put forth by LGBT activists in favor of marriage equality, namely arguments that invoke the Equal Protection, Due Process and Full Faith and Credit Clauses of the United States Constitution, "specious." 

Moore's remarks are not surprising given his previous statements calling same-sex marriage a threat to the U.S. Constitution and his support for a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage

As The New Civil Rights Movement points out, Moore had been ousted from his post as Chief Justice in 2003 following his refusal to remove a stone monument of the 10 commandments in the state's judicial building. However, Moore was re-elected to his old post in 2012. 

Read Moore's letter below:

Roy Moore Letter by Equality Case Files

(Photo via Facebook)


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore: Gay Marriage Threatens the U.S. Constitution – VIDEO

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Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who last week launched a personal campaign to the governors in every state to pass a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, is making the media rounds to help spread word about his crusade.

Right Wing Watch reports that Moore, who believes that marriage equality is a Satanic influence that will lead to “oppressive” government and divine punishment, told wingnut rag WorldNetDaily yesterday that the legalization of same-sex marriage threatens the Constitution:

“It’s a travesty,” Judge Roy Moore told WND on Monday about the move toward judiciary-imposed same-sex “marriages.” “The courts are exercising wrongful authority over this country.”

He said it was no less than the U.S. Supreme Court itself which, in an earlier ruling, said, “We come nearest to illegitimacy when we deal with judge-made constitutional law with no cognizable roots in the design of the Constitution.” [...]

“If marriage falls,” he said, “the institution of family upon which it is based falls.”

Then, he said, “We no longer have a Constitution. We have a government of individual men who have the power to decide what the Constitution means … .”

Last week, Moore used a speech to the Alabama Cattlemen's Association to rally support for his campaign. Check out a local news report of the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore: Gay Marriage Threatens the U.S. Constitution – VIDEO" »


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Urges 50 Governors to Pass Federal Marriage Amendment

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has launched a personal campaign to the governors in every state urging them to pass a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, the AP reports:

MooreRoy Moore has sent letters to all 50 governors urging them to get their legislatures to call for a convention to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognizing only unions between one man and one woman.

Moore says the country's moral foundation is under attack, and a state-initiated convention under Article V of the Constitution is the only way to stop it. An Article V convention has never been held.

Moore is best known for his battle to display a Ten Commandments monument in his state's high court.

Moore said marriage equality invites "ultimate destruction" in a 2012 campaign speech:

"We cannot continue to borrow the future of our children and our grandchildren or we will suffer the consequences. We can't keep going into debt. We can't keep disparaging our military and promoting things like same-sex marriage, L-G-B-T. To hear the President of the United States say that we are promoting L-G-B-T. Let's think about what that is: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered rights...Same sex marriage will be the ultimate destruction of our country because it destroys the very foundation upon which this nation is based. Divisive, I've been accused of being divisive I'll tell you what's divisive. It's this Democratic platform."


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