— I don’t understand what’s going on in Alabama.
— That’s okay. The people of Alabama don’t always understand what’s going on in Alabama. Nobody has ever quite understood what’s going on in Alabama. When Hernando de Soto first passed through the area, the Choctaw Indians who lived there are quoted as saying “Who the hell ARE these people. What the hell are they up to? We just don’t understand.”
— I mean this whole same-sex marriage thing. What’s up with that?
— Oh, right, that. Well, back in 2006 Alabama added a Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to their State Constitution.
— What’s a Sanctity of Marriage Amendment? What does it do?
— It said marriage was “a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman.” It basically told same-sex couples they could go fuck themselves.
— Yeah. Well, no…not literally. I mean, it’s only been about seven months…yeah, that’s right, months…that Alabama’s anti-sodomy law was finally kicked to the curb. Alabama law doesn’t much like gay folks. The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court thinks gay sex is icky. Back in 2002 he wrote a legal opinion saying homosexuality was “a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it.”
— Lawdy. Defies one’s ability to describe it? You know, it’s really not that hard to describe gay sex.
— I know, right? Anyway, a couple weeks ago a federal judge said the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment was unconstitutional, and Alabama couldn’t use it to deny a marriage license to same-sex couples.
— Oh, well that should settle it, right?
— Dude, c’mon. This is Alabama. The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court told the federal court it could go fuck itself. Again, not literally. On account of that would be icky, and all that.
— Can the Chief Justice of anyplace actually do that?
— Is that the same Chief Justice who wrote that earlier opinion?
— It surely is. He’s a yahoo named Roy Moore. He told the folks who issue marriages licenses at the county offices to ignore the federal court ruling. Told them they should refuse to issue licences to same-sex couples.
— They ought to kick that guy out of office.
— They actually did. Back in 2003. Kicked his ass right out of office.
— Because of the gay thing?
— Nope. It was another thing. Judge Moore commissioned a two-and-a-half ton monument to the Ten Commandments, which he put in the central rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court.
— That’s pretty much a violation of the separation of church and state, isn’t it?
— Pretty much.
— So what happened?
— Somebody sued. A federal judge said the monument had to be removed. Judge Moore told the judge to go fuck himself.
— Not literally.
— No, not literally. Anyway, Moore refused to remove the monument, and eventually an Alabama judiciary commission booted his ass out of office.
— But he’s back now? He’s the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court again?
— Yep. Again.
— Why? How?
— Dude, c’mon. Alabama.
— Right. Okay, so what’s going to happen?
— Damned if I know. Some Alabama counties are issuing marriage license to same-sex couple, some are refusing to issue licences to same-sex couples, some have stopped issuing marriage licenses to anybody.
— That doesn’t make any sense, does it?
— That judge, Moore…he’s going to lose again, isn’t he? Eventually?
— Almost certainly. He might be able to drag this fuss out until later in the year when the U.S. Supreme Court issues a final ruling about same-sex marriage. But yeah, he’s almost certainly going to lose. Again.
— So he’s causing all this trouble and confusion because of some religious principle?
— That’s what he says. The Bible, and all that.
— But the Bible isn’t the law. The Ten Commandments aren’t the law.
— I mean, there’s all that coveting business. We’re pretty much free to covet whatever the hell we want in America, aren’t we?
— Pretty much.
— I mean, this is America. We’re all about coveting, aren’t we.
— Totally about the coveting.
— So why is all this happening?
— Dude, c’mon. It’s Alabama.
— I see your boy Roy Moore is back.
— Not my boy, but yeah. Year and a half later and he’s back. Just won the Republican primary to run for the United States Senate representing the great state of Alabama.
— So what happened back then about that gay marriage business?
— Glad you asked. A couple of months later Moore was suspended from the Alabama Supreme Court for the second time.
— So that settled that.
— You’d think. But nope. Moore told the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission to go fuck itself.
— Not literally, right?
— Right. He sued them. Said it was unconstitutional to suspend him from the court just on account of he refuse to obey the law.
— You’re making that up, right?
— Nope. But then a couple of months after that, same sex marriage became legal everywhere. Including in Alabama.
— Right. So that settled everything, right?
— Dude, c’mon. It’s Alabama. Moore’s suit against the Judicial Inquiry Whatsit dragged itself on like a damned zombie until just a few months ago. April, 2017. That’s when a special Alabama court told Moore to go fuck himself. No, not literally. They upheld his suspension.
— Bingo. He wasn’t kicked off the court this time. He was just suspended from ever sitting at the bench and hearing a case or doing anything remotely supreme courtish.
— What did Moore do?
— He told the special Alabama court to go fuck itself. He resigned and said he’d run for the U.S. Senate.
— Which he did.
— Which he totally did. And yeah, last night he won the nomination. I think it was the thing with the gun that sealed his win.
— Thing with the gun?
— On Monday, the day before the election, Moore was giving a speech and he pulled out a handgun.
— Onstage? Why?
— To show he loves guns. It was just a little silver revolver, kind of a girly gun, but still. Some folks love that stuff.
— So he’s going to be the next United States Senator for Alabama?
— Well, he’ll have to face a Democrat in the next election, but yeah, he’s the Republican nominee.
— I know, right?
— But this guy’s completely horrible. He can’t possibly win, can he?
— Dude, c’mon. It’s Alabama.
I don’t know. I think Alabama should be cut some slack… this is the first time that they have some soul searching about humans and their interaction/value. otherwise, they are avant garde in matters of social justice/equality. soul searching takes time, and sodomy being legal now helps it.
I’m not entirely sure ‘avant garde’ is the term you’re looking for. Maybe ‘surreal’ or possibly ‘unhinged.’
You should create a separate blog dedicated entirely to explaining (or attempting to explain) the South. I’d be a regular reader for years to come because it would take that long for me to even begin to understand.
You know, the Deep South gets a bad rap about being intolerant. It’s not entirely fair or accurate. Folks in the South are very tolerant of peculiarity and eccentricity — but generally only if you’re artistic, religious, or have a substance abuse problem.
When I was young there were a dozen of so African American families living in shacks and cabins on my grandfather’s property (my grandfather, by the way, was known by most everybody as Daddy Gene). One small dirt-floor shack was inhabited by a man whose name I can’t recall, but he wandered around the property generally dressed in a woman’s floral housecoat, a hairnet, and slippers. Folks would give him fruit, and he’d bake the most delicious pies.
I’m glad the old racism and bigotry is dying — dying too slowly, to be sure — but I have to admit I miss the Southern indulgence of people who were somewhat ‘tetched.’
Pingback: Mike's Blog Round Up -
“That’s pretty much a violation of the separation of church and state, isn’t it”
Of course it’s also a violation of the Second Commandment. This yahoo asked Alabama to bow to a graven image of a law that says you must not bow to a graven image.
Well, in Judge Moore’s defense, as graven images go, this one was pretty awesome. Two and a half tons of stone, just over waist high — you could sacrifice a goat on that bad boy and still have room for a sacrificed lamb (or maybe three or four sacrificed doves).
Yeah, I gotta say I appreciate your explanations of the South too… I just don’t really ‘get’ them, though a lot of my relatives fled that area. California has its own weirdnesses and tolerance of the odd, but only to a certain extent and in certain directions; they’re extremely prejudiced in their own ways though nobody likes to admit it. I think people are just prone to have some weirdness, and plenty of intolerance, no matter where they are.
LikeLiked by 1 person
He could totally fuck himself with that little gun! And I DO mean literally!
I don’t know…that’s a pretty tiny gun. But I suppose if he applied himself and tried hard, he might make it work.
Oh. My. Lawd.