Trouble in Dixie: Ala. House Passes Resolution Calling For Federal Gay Marriage Ban
Following the recent passage of an Arizona-style "turn the gays away" bill by both houses of the Mississippi state legislature on Tuesday, the Deep South seems hell-bent on reversing the clock on equality. On Wednesday, the Alabama House of Representatives approved a resolution calling for a convention to put a federal ban on same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution.
According to the Montgomery Advisor, the resolution, sponsored by the one time Democratic representative from Roanoake, Richard Laird, cites five court cases from the 19th century and states that the U.S. Supreme Court "officially severed its respect for marriage" last year in the landmark United States v. Windsor case striking down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The resolution called for an Article V convention, which requires at least 34 states to petition Congress to call a convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In this case, the convention would propose a federal same-sex marriage ban.
The approval of the resolution has Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, the only openly gay member of the state legislature crying foul. She believes that Democrats on the Rules Committee wouldn’t have signed off if they new what the resolution was.
"It’s deceptive," she said. "They know if they put a full description on here that I would get up and say something."
The Advisor further reports that according to Todd, the description of the resolution on a summary sheet provided to committee members, only mentioned that the state would call for a convention to make an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and did not specify what the amendment would address.
Rep. Laird has a history of being contentious with Alabama Democrats. According to the Associated Press, the one time veteran Democrat switched his affiliation to independent in February 2013, citing that the Democratic Party today is much different than it was when he was first elected to the House in 1978. He said the party has lost its conservative core.