John M. Becker

AL House Demands Federal Anti-Marriage Amendment

Filed By John M. Becker | April 03, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Alabama, Federal Marriage Amendment, gay marriage, marriage amendment, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

alabama.jpgThe Alabama House of Representatives, who apparently woke up yesterday morning in 1994 rather than 2014, passed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to add a marriage discrimination amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports:

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Richard Laird, I-Roanoke, quotes a 2006 amendment to the state constitution that bans same-sex unions, and calls marriage "a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman." The resolution also cites several court cases, including five from the 19th century. It goes on to say that the U.S. Supreme Court "officially severed its respect for marriage" last year, when it struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented the recognition of same-sex spouses under federal laws.

Laird's resolution calls for an Article V convention, which would require 34 states to ask Congress to call a convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. According to the resolution, the convention would specifically propose an amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and bar legal recognition of any other form of marriage.

Rep. Patricia Todd (D), the only openly gay member of the Alabama Legislature, was furious about the resolution's passage. She said that Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard promised her that it would not come up for a vote, and added that Hubbard's colleagues on the Rules Committee used trickery to advance the measure to the floor:

Democrats on the Rules Committee wouldn't have signed off if they'd known what it was, Todd said. The description of the resolution on a summary sheet provided to committee members, she said, only mentioned that the state would call for a convention to make an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It did not specify what the amendment would address.

"It's deceptive," she said. "They know if they put a full description on here that I would get up and say something."

While the Alabama resolution is completely meaningless (in our nation, where a majority of voters support marriage equality, a Federal Marriage Discrimination Amendment is dead in the water), it's still transparently bigoted and deeply insulting. Shame on these lawmakers for wasting taxpayer dollars on these dead-end, animus-driven measures.

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