As I said in my post two days ago, Monday would be interesting in Alabama with all the legal stuff (and, I would argue, illegal stuff) going on. I think the headlines are what really tell much of the story.
From World Net Daily, we have these, all written by Anti-Homo-in-Chief Bob Unruh (all comment counts are preliminary since these are less than 24 hours old):
- “Alabama Begins Marrying ‘Gay’ Couples*” –Bob Unruh (February 09, 2015), 595 comments
- “Judge Roy Moore Defies Feds: ‘Law Is Very Clear'” –Bob Unruh (February 09, 2015), 888 comments
- “Federal Judge Refuses Sanctions in ‘Gay Marriage’ Case” –Bob Unruh (February 09, 2015), 35 comments
*This story has gone through at least four different headlines. The first was, “Drastic Measure Taken on ‘Gay’ Marriage.” The second, I didn’t copy down. The third was “Supremes Won’t Stop ‘Gay’ Marriage,” and the last one I saw was “Alabama Begins Marrying ‘Gay’ Couples.”
And, I have lots of headlines from other news outlets, including many from blogger Joe Jervis at “Joe.My.God” or “JMG” for short. These are in temporal order, starting late Sunday night, and by reading the headlines, you’ll be able to tell a lot of what happened.
- “BREAKING: Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore Orders Officials Not To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Ala Chief Justice Tells Judges: Refuse Gay Marriage Licenses” –Kim Chandler via ABC News / AP
- “Alabama Judge Defies Gay Marriage Law” –Alan Blinder via New York Times
- “Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Orders Probate Judges Not to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses” –Hemant Mehta via The Friendly Atheist
- “Alabama’s Chief Justice Refuses to Allow Same-Sex Marriages” –Neal Broverman via Advocate
- “Is Roy Moore protesting too much?” –Kyle Whittier via AL.com
- “Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Same-Sex Marriage in Alabama” –Reuters via The Raw Story
- “Alabama AG Luther Strange Has the Sadz” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Same-Sex Couples Wed in Alabama Despite Efforts to Block Them” –Eliott C. McLaughlin via CNN
- “Read the Supreme Court’s Order Allowing Same Sex Marriages in Alabama” –Mark Berman via Washington Post
- “Alabama Chief Justice Orders State Judges to Defy Federal Court Judge. State Judges Defy Alabama Chief Justice” –Dale Carpenter via Washington Post
- “ALABAMA: Majority Of 67 Counties Are Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Same-Sex Marriages Proceed in Parts of Alabama, Amid Judicial Chaos” –Alan Blinder and Richard Pérez-Peña via The New York Times
- “Why Roy Moore’s Gay Marriage Gambit Isn’t Just Alabama Being Alabama” –Phillip Bump via Washington Post
- “Alabama’s ‘Ten Commandments Judge’ Defies the Feds Over Gay Marriage” –Josh Sanburn via Time
- “ALABAMA: Governor Refuses To Take Any Action Against Probate Judges” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Justice Roy Moore Has The Sadz” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “ALABAMA: Plaintiffs File Federal Contempt Motion Against Mobile County Judge” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Alabama Was a Final Holdout on Desegregation and Interracial Marriage. It Could Happen Again on Gay Marriage” –Aaron Blake via Washington Post
- “A National Right to Same-Sex Marriage Is a Done Deal” –Orin Kerr via Washington Post
- “Alabama’s Chief Justice Is Trying to Stave Off Gay Marriage. Welcome to the Last Stand” –Hunter Schwarz via Washington Post
- “The ‘Ten Commandments Judge’ Has Lost — Same-Sex Couples Are Getting Married in Alabama” –Reuters via The Raw Story
- “ALABAMA: Number Of Counties Refusing Same-Sex Licenses Grows Dramatically” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Roy Moore: I’m No George Wallace” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “ALABAMA: Federal Judge Denies Contempt Order Against Mobile County Judge” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Roy Moore Will Stop Alabama from Turning into Sodom and Gomorrah” –Brian Tashman via Right Wing Watch
- “WATCH: Alabama Officials Continue Attempts to Stop Marriage” –Matt Baume via Advocate
- “Alabama, Where Same-Sex Marriage Remains Deeply Unpopular” –Nate Cohn via New York Times
- “ALABAMA: Plaintiffs Sue Everybody” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “REPORT: Roy Moore to File Charges Against Judges Who Issue Licenses” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “ALABAMA: Three Counties Relent” –Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Alabama Gov. Won’t Defy Gay Marriage: ‘I’m Trying To Move This State Forward'” –Kim Chandler and Jay Reeves via Talking Points Memo
- “ALABAMA: Where Things Stand Today” –a Joe Jervis via Joe My God
- “Alabama’s Roy Moore: I blocked gay marriages because father-daughter weddings were next” –David Edwards via The Raw Story
- “Alabama Gay Marriage Advocates Renew Legal Push for Licenses” –Richard Pérez-Peña and Richard Fausset via New York Times
- “Alabama activists seek court leverage amid standoff over same-sex marriage” –Sandhya Somashekhar via Washington Post
- “For Alabama Chief Justice, Soldiering in Name of God Is Nothing New” –Richard Fausset via New York Times
- “Supreme Court Undercuts Alabama Chief Justice’s Argument to Delay Same-Sex Marriages” –Erik Ekholm via New York Times
- “Clarence Thomas faults Supreme Court for refusing to block gay marriage in Alabama” –Robert Barnes via Washington Post
That is a lot of news coverage. To try to summarize for y’all who don’t want to even skim that list, there was a basic sequence of events:
- Judge Roy Moore on Sunday night sent a letter to all probate court judges telling them NOT to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He stated in the letter that the Governor could take action against them if they did, though the Governor’s office said they had no idea what Moore was talking about. Because, you know, The Bible. And Icky Stuff.
“The U.S. district courts have no power or authority to redefine marriage. Once you start redefining marriage, that’s the ultimate power. Would it overturn the laws of incest? Bigamy? Polygamy? How far do they go? A lot of states in this union have caved to such unlawful authority, and this is not one This is Alabama. We don’t give up the recognition that law has bounds. I disagree with standing in the schoolhouse door to prevent blacks from getting equal education. We’re talking about a constitutional amendment to preserve the recognition that marriage is one man and one woman, as it has been for centuries.” – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, speaking this afternoon to NBC News.
- This created a patchwork of counties in Alabama that were offering licenses to everyone (few), offering licenses only to opposite-sex couples (more), or none at all (most).
- The Governor came out and said that he wasn’t going to do anything against probate judges who followed Moore’s directive or who followed the Federal court’s directive. But he did NOT want to be compared to Gov. George Wallace who, half a century ago, stood in the way of National Guard troops after the Federal courts ruled against desegregation. (This comparison was being made a lot yesterday.)
Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican and a Southern Baptist, said he believes strongly that marriage is between one man and one woman, but that the issue should be “worked out through the proper legal channels” and not through defiance of the law. The governor noted that Alabama is about to be in the spotlight again with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was passed after civil rights marchers were attacked and beaten in Selma, Alabama — events chronicled in the Oscar-nominated movie “Selma.” “I don’t want Alabama to be seen as it was 50 years ago when a federal law was defied. I’m not going to do that,” Bentley said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.
- Some judges refusing to comply with the the Federal order were mocked.
- Others were sued, but the Federal judge did nothing:
Probate Judge Don Davis is not a party in this case and the Order of January 23, 2015, did not directly order Davis to do anything. Judge Davis’s obligation to follow the Constitution does not arise from this court’s Order. The Clarification Order noted that actions against Judge Davis or others who fail to follow the Constitution could be initiated by persons who are harmed by their failure to follow the law. However, no such action is before the Court at this time.
- So, the actual plaintiffs are now suing.
That’s kinda where we are today, or as of noon today. I could talk about a lot of issues here. Including Judge Moore making many of his arguments on Facebook, and then deleting them, like the one below.
Or that this is a huge case of judicial activism, which I thought conservatives were against. Or questions about authority, and whether Moore actually has any authority over probate judges. Or the apt or inapt comparisons to George Wallace. Or that in the refusal of the Supreme Court of the United States to grant a stay of the Federal judge’s order could be interpreted (by Justice Thomas’ own remarks) as the tacit admission that that is how the Supreme Court will rule later this year.
Instead, I think I’ll just point out the real effect here: In all this posturing, to try to uphold their religion (and let’s be honest: There is no reason to be against this other than religion, and it’s what’s been the focus of all Moore’s (and others’) arguments), they are hurting real people. People who love each other and just want the recognition of the state that opposite-sex couples have always enjoyed. This isn’t just some vague issue. It’s a real one with real victims.