Alabama Stands in the Doorway Blocking Same-Sex Marriage

Ron Hart is a syndicated columnist and humorist.
Ron Hart is a syndicated columnist and humorist.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states now (and about 10 other states have become bi-curious), but apparently not in Alabama. After two federal court decisions gave gays sashay room to walk down the aisle, elected Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore did his best George Wallace "Jim Crow standing in the schoolhouse door" imitation. He instructed Alabama probate judges to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Chief Justice Moore looks like the mayor in "Dirty Dancing." He has one of those awful, old Southern men, helmet hair haircuts that make a clear statement: "No gay guy has ever touched my hair." It is an image Alabama and the South do not need.

Yet, this is just Alabama is flexing its states' rights muscle trying to delay the inevitable. Gay marriage in Alabama will eventually be like gay marriage in almost any other state, except that somehow a hounds-tooth hat will be incorporated into the ceremony.

It is the position of Chief Justice Moore that homosexuals can marry as long as they don't try to marry each other. Liza Minnelli can't marry them all. He seems like the type of guy who would continue to try to set up Jim Nabors on dates well after "Gomer Pyle" ended.

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This is a fight that Candidate Obama, who agreed with Chief Justice Roy Moore on this, will pursue. AG Eric Holder's office has the South on his speed dial.

I'm a live-and-let-live Libertarian. Do what you want as long as you don't try to do it to me. If what you do does not hurt anyone, government has no business in policing it. Conservatives can't be for minimal government, liberty and freedom except in these areas where we interpret the Bible to mean you can't.

Marriage is a religious ceremony; its origins are Biblical. I respect folks' Christian views, but if government bans gay marriage, why can't it ban your religion? Freedom cuts both ways. Less government is more.

I tried to understand the thinking of those who oppose gay marriage. I talked to my Uncle Mac, who lives in Alabama. He's not religious man, so he didn't get all Leviticus on me about it. He summed it up: "Ronnie, you let them gay birds get to marrying and it will only end up weakening the institution of marriage for us other Alabamians. That's a problem for me, since my wife and I can hardly stand the sight of each other as it is." He went on to say he'd like to see legislatures ban gay marriage in hopes it would lead them to what really needs to be done: banning all marriages.

My Drunkle Mac once challenged a lesbian construction co-worker to a wrestling match. Mac still brags that it was a tie. When he sees those baby changing stations in men's restrooms, he will bring us in there to show us, thinking someone made a mistake.

Neither political side seems able to recognize the vast difference between governing and meddling. The GOP seems to think that, but for its vigilance, everyone in America might run off and get all gay married. Democrats do not care what the laws are as long as they are complex, costly, mandatory, and they can inflict them on the rest of us.
With all of our festering problems, I do not know why the GOP has to waste its currency making life difficult for consenting adults. Maybe politicians just don't understand, since such a small percentage of their sex is actually consensual.

I am a big proponent of state's rights, so I'm torn on this one. It will be fun to watch this one. Alabama's next step would be to amend its state Constitution to declare heterosexuality as the state's official sexuality (and maybe, while they're at it, banning the broadcast of the Tony Awards in the state). It would give lawyers and me easy work for years.
Arizona had its Alabama moment when the state tried to defy federal law by essentially saying restaurants had the right to deny service to gay men. It was their "Nice shoes, nice shirt…no service" policy. It ends up hurting a state.

Southern states are coming to terms with the reality that they must allow same-sex marriage. North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina and apparently Texas have issued same-sex marriage licenses of late. Gay marriage has long been legal in Oklahoma. But to be fair, once it had a flamboyant Broadway musical named after it, the writing was on the wall for Oklahoma.

Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator. Email or visit

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