Things just got real in Alabama.
State Rep. Patricia Todd, the state's only openly gay legislator, has issued something of an ultimatum to colleagues: Keep talking about same-sex marriage as an affront to "family values," and I will expose your dirty laundry. As in, their extramarital affairs.
According to the AL.com, Todd posted a statement on Facebook:
This (is) a time where you find out who are accepting, loving people. To say I am disappointed in Speaker Hubbard comment's and Attorney General Strange choice to appeal the decision is an understatement. I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about 'family values' when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have. I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet OUT.
Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard vowed in a statement to "continue defending the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live," after a U.S. District Court Judge declared that state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. A judge granted a stay until next month, pending an appeal.
Todd's salacious ultimatum comes as court challenges to same-sex marriage fail across the country — and as the Supreme Court could settle the matter in its coming session. But, as this map shows, the Deep South remains "the final fortress" of same-sex marriage opponents.
And as the Alabama dust-up shows, no matter how the courts rule, same-sex marriage is likely to remain a very messy issue in the Bible Belt. There is already talk about "nullification," with likely GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee saying that the final arbiters of the law are the states, not the courts. The Supreme Court is not the supreme being, he said in his Iowa speech.
He offered this on the Hugh Hewitt show recently:
HEWITT: So Governor, just to put a cap on that, if the Supreme Court rules 5-4 that every state must allow two people of the same sex to get married, what’s your position on the campaign trail going to be about what governors ought to do in the aftermath of that ruling, and what presidential candidates in the Republican Party ought to say about it?
HUCKABEE: Well, if the federal Supreme Court rules that same sex marriage is protected under the 14th Amendment, you still have to have Congress and the president act to agree with it, because one branch of government does not overrule the other two. This idea that a judge makes a ruling on Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning same-sex marriage licenses are being given out, that’s utter nonsense, because there’s not been any agreement with the other two branches of government, so I just want people to go back to their 9th grade civics class, and remember there are three branches equal, and that all three of them have to be in concert in order for something to become law. And the courts can’t make a law, and they don’t have the power to enforce a law.
This is playing out already in Texas, where a bill was recently filed that would bar state employees from being paid if they recognized, granted or enforced marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
In the South, this will be a lingering fight.