Alabama still has “a wheel in the ditch and a wheel on the track”

The state of Alabama has claimed four of the last six national football titles, an accomplishment that makes them the object of envy among many on this side of the state border.

On the other hand, Alabama is also stuck with the embarrassment of Roy Moore as chief justice of its state Supreme Court, so that balances things out a bit.

In his latest escapade, Moore has ordered probate judges in Alabama to defy a federal court ruling and refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in the state. Legally, Moore has no jurisdiction or control over probate judges, but some three-quarters of probate judges in the state are nonetheless refusing to issue licenses, with many citing Moore’s “order” as cover for their decision.

As we all know, Alabama has been down this painful road before:

wallaceps11n-1-web

Fifty years ago, Alabama Gov. George Wallace stood in a doorway at the University of Alabama to block the entry of two black students, symbolically defying the orders of a federal judge to desegregate the university. In explaining his stance, Wallace used much the same arguments that are now offered by Moore, with both men complaining that the federal courts were overruling decisions made by the people of Alabama.

There’s more than a bit of irony to that argument. Many conservatives like to lecture that “this is not a democracy, this is a republic.” Well, this is that catch-phrase put into action. This is that distinction given meaning. In a mythical “pure democracy”, all questions would be decided by popular opinion and in much of the country, including Alabama and for the moment Georgia, gay marriage would still be outlawed. The bigotries and prejudice of the majority would be given free rein.

But in a republic — which is actually a subset of democracy — the natural rights of the individual and the rights of minorities are protected from violation by the majority. That’s exactly what the federal court has done in overturning Alabama’s “Sanctity of Marriage Amendment” and “Marriage Protection Act”.

Cari Searcy, left, and Kim McKeand pose with their eight-year-old son at their home in Mobile, Alabama (AP)

Cari Searcy, left, and Kim McKeand pose with their eight-year-old son at their home in Mobile, Alabama (AP)

A lesbian couple from Mobile, Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand, had been married in California. However, the state of Alabama refused to recognize the marriage and had also refused to allow Searcy to adopt McKeand’s eight-year-old son. The couple sued in federal court, demanding that they be treated like any other married couple, and last month they won summary judgment.

“Laws that implicate fundamental rights are subject to strict scrutiny and will survive constitutional analysis only if narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade, an appointee of President George W. Bush. “… the institution of marriage itself is a fundamental right,” and Alabama had offered no evidence of a “compelling government interest” in refusing to recognize the legal marriage of Searcy and McKeand.

Granade’s assessment of the case was pretty frank:

“(Alabama’s attorney general) contends that Alabama has a legitimate interest in protecting the ties between children and their biological parents and other biological kin. However… the attorney general does not explain how allowing or recognizing same-sex marriage between two consenting adults will prevent heterosexual parents or other biological kin from caring for their biological children…

The Attorney General fails to demonstrate any rational, much less compelling, link between its prohibition and non-recognition of same-sex marriage and its goal of having more children raised in the biological family structure the state wishes to promote. There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples….

In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama. …If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children. Those children currently being raised by same-sex parents in Alabama are just as worthy of protection and recognition by the State as are the children being raised by opposite-sex parents.”

There really is no good counter-argument, or at least none that doesn’t rely on bigotry as its foundation. With Granade’s decision, Alabama becomes the 37th state in the country in which gay marriage is legal. Georgia is one of the 13 in which it is not, and Attorney General Sam Olens continues to fight to see that we remain in that category, a choice that history will not judge kindly.
But Georgia’s time is coming; the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to delay enforcement of Granade’s ruling in Alabama gives us a clear preview of its own decision in the next few months that will settle the matter nationwide. I trust that unlike our neighbors to the west, Georgia officials will accept that ruling graciously and quickly extend to gay Georgians the full rights and privileges granted to everybody else.

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442 comments
Peachs
Peachs

The Alabama judge asks the question, what's next? He then went on to ask if we would legalize multiple marriages, marrying animals and any other crude thing he found entertaining to say.Well the truth is if a heterosexual legalized having sex with dogs and children then the right is passed on to the homosexual, so if the judge and his friends enjoy perversion in the great state of Alabama ,so much, they make it a state law to legalize perversion then the gay men and women eat at the same table. The only way to make this ban on gay marriage legally work in Alabama is to ban all marriage, which if what I hear about that state is true, it is just about happening because of the character of its citizens already.

AyeAyeSir
AyeAyeSir

@Bruno2


A couple of points:


1)  I wouldn't like it any more than some of my ancestors who couldn't vote because they either didn't own land or were indentured servants. 


2)  Again, it was the Northern States who wanted them counted as "less than a person" but only for apportionment. The Southern States wanted them counted as a "whole person".


3)  You must judge history in the "time" it occurred. The world at large had condoned slavery (in all of its terrible variations) up until that time.  The "North" had only gotten rid of slavery about 50 years before the South.   Lincoln would have allowed slavery to continue if it meant saving the Union.  Great Britain only outlawed slavery in the early 1800's.   And .......... slavery still exists today but "the world" doesn't seem all that upset about it.


4)  In any case, I believe it's similar to the abortion issue when it comes to "good people" condoning it.  I hope in the future that abortion will become a thing of the past ............ but many will look back on it and think how could "good people" have killed all those babies.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@AyeAyeSir 

The Southern States only wanted them counted as a whole person to increase the clout of Southern politicians.  It had nothing to do with considering slaves as people.

Judging history in the time that it occurred is what I've been trying to do, yet you still refuse to acknowledge the Christian beliefs and principles that was used in favor of enslaving Africans.  If those moral and religious people had to issue a blanket apology as the Southern Baptists did in the 1990s, then we already know those moral and religious people back then were not as moral and religious as people claim they were.

AyeAyeSir
AyeAyeSir

@Brosephus @AyeAyeSir 


Your first point is true.  That's what I explained but so many people use it as an argument that it had to do with "personhood".


That said, Lincoln felt (and even stated) that blacks were "inferior" even though he wanted them freed.  Does that make him an evil person?


My Dad used to pastor a church in North Ga. that still had the minutes for meetings before the Civil War wherein slaves were voted into the church after their salvation and baptism. That indicates worth.


People back then were moral and religious for their time just as today.   For example, U.S. sailors were tied to the mast and flogged for infractions up until 1850.  It is what it is.

idigalot
idigalot

"People back then were moral and religious for their time just as today."

That explains why we murdered 100,000 innocent Iraqi children, women, and men in our "shock and awe" bombing. We are so moral and religious now, and have advanced so far using the bible as our tactical guide.

gotalife
gotalife

I hope bibi's opposition are painting him as reckless, dangerous and biting the hand that feeds Israel.


I hope bibi loses and they beg for forgiveness because I am not the only American that does not care about Israel.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@consumedconsumer @Visual_Cortex

If by "exceptional" you mean "we cling to some really dumb traditions that nobody else has chosen to adopt," yeah.

Hey, here's a really bright idea--let's have a super-powerful Senate! And let's let individual states determine how they want to send these electors any which way they like, to determine who holds the most powerful office in the land! what could go wrong?

LeninTime
LeninTime

@fiftythreepercenter 

I'm not the one claiming to be tolerant and loving everybody, Kammie. Never have.


That would be you liberals who would have the world believe you're inclusive and love your neighbors.  

***
So is THAT what liberals are, the ones claiming to be tolerant? 

So your whole beef is with those who claim falsely to be tolerant? 

gotalife
gotalife

Politics hurts you when it is directed at you.


josef proved that point so think how the President feels when the leader of Iran shows him more respect than bibi.


Some ally huh josef?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

From gota's Axel-book excerpt below:

Making one-third of that [Recovery Act] package tax breaks was supposed to ensure some cross-party support

And Lucy was supposed to hold the football.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@consumedconsumer @Visual_Cortex Lucy--The original "football" tease.  I've often wondered if Charles Schulz didn't use the football-snatching as a veiled reference to some other kind of tease.....

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Bruno2 @Visual_Cortex @consumedconsumer

I wasn't thinking that kind of thing, just some really unenlightened depictions of females in general, and the kind of creepy way he cast so many of the males as helpless victims. It's probably not for nothing that the only male who seemed confident in his ways was Snoopy.

Don't get me wrong--I continue to love the strip, but can see it for what it was, a product of its time.

AyeAyeSir
AyeAyeSir

Brosephus .............. you should know as well as anyone that the 3/5ths compromise had to do with apportionment for the purpose of Congressional representatives.


The Northern states wanted slaves to count as "zero persons" for purposes of apportionment so they South would get less representatives in Congress.


The Southern states wanted slaves to count as one (or a whole person) for purposes of apportionment so they would have more representative in Congress.


Therefore, in order to have a Constitution and a "Union", the compromise was 3/5ths.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@AyeAyeSir How would you feel about being counted as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of Congressional apportionment, but were unable to cast a vote??

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@Bruno2 @AyeAyeSir shheeeeett man, at the time, didn't you have to own land to vote? most of the poor white trash couldn't vote either . . . but loved their system.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@AyeAyeSir 

"you should know as well as anyone that the 3/5ths compromise had to do with apportionment for the purpose of Congressional representatives."

I know that.  You still didn't answer my question about that moral and religious people though.  When those moral and religious people used religion to enslave people, that quote of yours holds absolutely no weight or meaning.  After slavery ended, that very same religion was used to discriminate and kill the formerly enslaved and their descendants.  If the founders were truly moral and religious people, there would not have been slavery or any of the atrocities that accompanied the practice.

Beyond the contention of apportionment, the Southerners didn't consider slaves to be human.  They were only "human" in order for them to gain more political power.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Visual_Cortex @AyeAyeSir 

I just wanted to hear this guy who worships those Founding Fathers to explain to me why they had to shake down the states for mo' money. Lots mo' money. Lots and lots and lots mo'...

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@AyeAyeSir

Therefore, in order to have a Constitution and a "Union"

But, we already had such a document. "Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union."

Why wasn't the one we had good enough, AAS? Care to enlighten us?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Visual_Cortex @AyeAyeSir

Oh, and I don't recall anywhere in the Constitution where they came right out and said "that business about 'perpetual' from our previous founding document is null and void now, so if any states aren't happy y'all can leave any time you like, no worries."

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@AyeAyeSir right, the South wanted those non-persons to count as persons . . . fair, right? nope. but that's how the south rolls.

dbm1
dbm1

I hope this thread is old enough that I'm OK to refer back to an earlier thread.


Based on a past conversation there seems to be at least one person among the commenters here who still doesn’t understand the difference between a proper insurance plan and one distorted by subsidies.The key point I failed to make clear enough before is that in a proper insurance plan, premiums are calculated based on the participant’s contribution to the pooled risk and not on other considerations such as ability to pay.To put it another way, if there is a subsidy involved, it occurs at the point where premiums are calculated and collected, NOT at the point where benefits are paid.More specifically:

In a proper insurance plan, actuaries calculate the participant’s contribution to the pooled risk, allow for the uncertainty in the exact total amount of risk that will become actual expense, and allow for the expenses of running the company (including profit, if it is not a mutual insurance company).This determines the participant’s premium.Since each participant is charged premiums according to her or his contribution to the pooled risk, everyone is paying their fair share, and there is no subsidy.This is true regardless of which participants’ risks become actual expenses or of how many such participants there are.

When premiums are affected by other considerations such as ability to pay, some people pay more than their fair share and some people pay less.The former are then subsidizing the latter.This is true even if by some statistical fluke it is only the former that have their risks become actual expenses.It is also true whether the premiums are called premiums, taxes, some other name, or some combination of names.

It is the subsidies as just explained that I am saying are wrong.I suppose somebody will want to argue that they are right.If any such person understands what I am saying, we have a chance at a rational, productive discussion.I they don’t understand, any attempt at a discussion will tend to be a waste.

Have I explained this enough now, or do I need to explain further?Doggone_GA, if you are reading this, please give me your response.Anyone else who sees fit to respond is welcome to do so.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@dbm1 I appreciate the clear and concise way you've explained the issue, and I agree in every respect.

Except that I understand the need to distort the "share according to risk" issue you describe (the distortion being partially offset by fewer tax dollars being expended to fund emergency room visits for the uninsured, which can be used to subsidize those in need).

I don't know if our disagreement is at a fundamental level ,or whether it is something we can resolve, but I appreciate your post.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@dbm1 I studied actuarial science, but am not sure what you're asking.  If subsidies are provided from the "outside" (e.g. via tax supplements), then the actuarial calculations are still the same, only the source of payment is affected.  If the lack of ability to pay is baked into the actuarial calculations themselves, then obviously the system is skewed from the inside out.


In a practical way, it doesn't matter, of course.  If I end up paying $100 more per month in taxes vs $100 more per month in insurance premiums, there is no difference to my bottom line.


The only suggestion I've seen so far that makes any sense is to remove the high-end users of medical care from the general insurance pool, and place them in a separate high-risk pool which is supplemented with taxpayer money.  In that way, our insurance premiums will be in line with the risk that we present to the pool.

dbm1
dbm1

I have to go now.  I was hoping for a response from Doggone_GA.  Maybe another time.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"but to you point, the world needs janitors. since the world needs them, pay them a descent wage and you won't have to take care of anyone. in short, go talk to the job creators who are keeping the cash."


You know, consumer, you could start a cleaning business with that model, pay your employees $25/hr(or whatever "decent" is to you), and you'd have people begging to come to work for you.  You could corner the market on cleaning people.  


So why do you think none of your all caring liberal friends have done that?  Is it because the don't REALLY care or is it because you're an idiot who has no idea what  you're talking about?

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@fiftythreepercenter you like that line of attack don't you. pull it out frequently. but see, i'm not the one complaining the poor don't know their place. you are. and my talents, on loan from god, are being used in a more productive manner and i have no interest in owning a janitorial company.

gotalife
gotalife

I was tough on the Jews to prove a point.


One of the greatest Presidents in our history is getting treated like garbage from the rw here and in Israel.


Where are the real American patriots?


josef
josef

@gotalife 

Oh, bull.  You were being an anti-Semite and showing your true colors. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@josef @gotalife 

Question, josef.  I have no issue with Judaism, but have a real issue with Israel as a political entity.

Is that common, in your experience?

Gale_
Gale_

I have been watching this one for a couple weeks.  Judge Moore has embarrassed the judiciary before and was removed from office.  The people of Alabama elected him again.  And there we have the root of that problem; a judge elected by appealing to the peoples' base opinions instead of being proved a fair and accurate judge.  The declined request fo SCOTUS for a stay in the decision should be a smack down for this judge.  Instead he just doubled down on the 'You are not the boss of me!' attitude. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Gale_

...do other civilized countries operate that way or is this yet another one of those "Special..." er, I mean, "Exceptional American" kind of things?

Gale_
Gale_

@Visual_Cortex @Gale_ I must admit, I have learned a lot more about judicial process in the last year by watching the ME cases as they flow through the courts.  If we plan to elect judges, they should have to prove they know more about the law and the Constitution than having passed the bar.  Too many seem to just do things their own way after making it to the bench.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Gale_ @Visual_Cortex

My first few passes would indicate that this is indeed one of those "Exceptional" things we're oh so lucky to have here in 'Merica.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Gale_

I actually think it's kind of weird for people to be electing judges in the first place.

gotalife
gotalife

The gay movement won just like the civil rights movement so it is time to move on cons.


Don't like it,leave it.


Got it?