“REMEMBER Sodom and Gomorrah!” warned a protest sign on a five-foot wooden cross. “Keep marriage traditional!” demanded a lady in a dark quilted jacket, one of several protesters outside Jefferson County courthouse in Birmingham. But their protest was in vain. For inside this courthouse Alabama’s first same-sex marriages were solemnised on February 9th.
Campaigners for gay rights feel that history is on their side, so they are not shy about invoking it. Pro-gay demonstrators outside the same courthouse likened their opponents to the white southerners who tried to maintain Jim Crow. “Looks familiar?” asked a rainbow-lettered sign showing whites rallying against desegregation in Alabama half a century ago.
Now, as then, defending the status quo means defying federal courts. Now, as then, some Alabamians feel it is their God-given duty to do exactly that. Last month Callie Granade, a federal judge appointed by George W Bush, struck down Alabama’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. On February 8th, just before the first gay marriages were due to take place, Roy Moore, the chief justice of the...Continue reading