Today, the Alabama State Supreme Court ordered probate offices to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, honoring a state ban even after a federal judge ruled the ban unconstitutional. Imagine yourself as the next couple in line, or as a couple that received a license yesterday and now wonders if they’ll receive a legal stamp of approval following the ceremony. Or as a couple that married last month and now can’t be legally divorced in Alabama.
The language of The Alabama Policy Institute’s statement, one of two plaintiffs in the case that produced the ruling, is particularly insulting: “[The ruling] gives the people of Alabama the respect that they deserve by preserving our law until the U.S. Supreme Court resolves the issue. The sanctity of marriage — an institute that has always been reserved for the states — is a cause worth fighting for, for as long as the States still have their rightful say in the matter.” Similar words were used to defend state’s rights regarding slavery. Obviously, the people of Alabama being deservedly respected don’t include homosexuals foolish enough to want to be married there.
My gut reaction is, “Get out of Alabama.” Of course that’s not the answer, and I respect those who are forced to wait for what so many take for granted. I’m furious; I’m not affected by this decision, but I can sympathize with the frustration being experienced by many in Alabama right now.
While we’re on the subject… Baltimore neurosurgeon and Presidential wannabe Ben Carson said on CNN this morning that being gay is a choice, because many people go into prison straight and come out gay. Which should sink his political aspirations (unless he runs for a legislative seat in Alabama), but it raises something we should clear up. The same-sex marriage movement has done well to argue that being gay is not a choice. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. I don’t care if somebody chooses to be gay, and neither should you. Let everyone marry who they want to marry, just like anybody else. “Sanctity of marriage” is a myth – if we really believed in it, divorce would be illegal. Let consenting adults choose as they will. Choose to be straight, choose to be gay, choose to be celibate, choose to legally bind with another. We talk about American freedoms – this is one of them. Even in Alabama.