Alabama needs a new normal

November 29, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s funny to me who we shun in Alabama.

That thought crossed my mind Tuesday afternoon as I watched a bunch of the shunned hold a rally on the Capitol steps to speak out against Roy Moore — one of the biggest shunners on the planet.

The rally wasn’t hosted by your “normal Alabamians.”

There was lots of pink and purple hair. Jewelry was inserted into pretty much every spot on people’s heads except their ears. Collectively, there was probably more money spent on tattoos than I spent on my house.

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Birmingham passes Alabama’s first LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

September 27, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama’s largest city has passed a housing and employment ordinance that will, first the first time in the Yellowhammer State, protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Birmingham City Council passed the ordinance Tuesday.

“It’s really taking this idea that all citizens of Birmingham are now able to bring their full selves into their job interviews, their full selves into applying for housing, and their full selves as they go and support their local communities in terms of the marketplace,” said Eva Kendrick, the director Human Rights Campaign Alabama.

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The rapid resurgence of neo-Confederate and White Nationalist groups in Alabama

August 19, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The domestic terror attack in Charlottesville last week is evidence of, if anything, the rapid resurgence and normalization of hate groups in the US. And in Alabama, neo-Confederate groups and the Ku Klux Klan have returned to what could be a level of relevance.

Earlier this year, the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center released their annual Hate Map and Intelligence Report, which showed that right-wing extremists and hate groups like the Klan and the League of the South, gained unprecedented ground in returning to the political mainstream.

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President Trump bars transgender individuals from military service

July 27, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

July, 26, 2017, President Trump announced that he was going to ban transgender individuals from serving in the United States Military.

President Trump made the announcement characteristically on Twitter: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
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HRC Alabama Blasts Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Over Stall Tactics

June 8, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, June 7, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Alabama blasted Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore for what they claimed were stall tactics to delay responding to charges by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) that his defiance of federal marriage equality rulings violated judicial ethics rules.

The HRC said in a statement that, “After more than a year of trying to deny loving same-sex couples their constitutional right to marriage, it is well past time for Chief Justice Roy Moore to be censured for disregarding the laws of our nation.”
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Byrne Defends Russell Amendment: Speaks on Religious Freedom

May 25, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R from Montrose) spoke out in support of efforts to ensure religious freedom protections for faith-based organizations and businesses. House Republicans recently added a religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which passed the House on May 18.

Congressman Byrne said, “Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, the gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr. Russell, offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act regarding religious freedom. Many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have attempted to use this amendment as a wedge in an effort to divide the American people. I want to take a minute to discuss the true facts about its impact.”
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Human Rights Campaign Endorses Hillary Clinton

January 21, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, January 19, former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, released a statement thanking the Human Rights Campaign for their endorsement in the 2016 Presidential Campaign.

Secretary Clinton said, “I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign—the nation’s largest organization working to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Thanks to the Human Rights Campaign and millions of advocates across the country, we’ve made tremendous progress. But our work is far from over. Too many LGBT Americans still face discrimination—in employment, in housing, in education, in health care—because of who they are or who they love. And the stakes in this election couldn’t be higher. The Republican candidates for president have not only hurled hateful, insulting rhetoric about the LGBT community—they’ve made it clear that if elected, they will roll back the rights that so many have fought for.”
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Judge Granade Orders Probate Judges to Follow Supreme Court Ruling

July 2, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, July 1, 2015, Federal District Judge Callie Granade issued orders to all probate judges in the State of Alabama to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Judge Granade’s order confirms that her injunction applies to all of Alabama’s probate judges. 

Judge Granade stated: “By the language set forth in the order, the preliminary injunction is now in effect and binding on all members of the Defendant Class.”
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HRC Accuses Roy Moore of Ethics Violations in Fight Against Gay Marriage

February 20, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, February 19, the pro-homosexual group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Alabama filed an Alabama Open Records request for the government email and phone records of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. HRC Alabama is investigating whether Chief Justice Moore was responsible for developing a plan to stop same-sex marriages by enlisting two anti-gay marriage groups: the Alabama Policy Institute (API) and the Alabama Citizens Action Plan (ALCAP) to file emergency petitions to the Alabama Supreme Court.
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11th Circuit Denies Strange’s Appeal

February 4, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, February 3, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit denied Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s (R) motion for a stay in Searcy v. Strange and Strawser v. Strange.

Last month, US District Judge Callie Granade struck down Alabama’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.  Barring an unlikely stay from the US Supreme Court, probate judges across the State will have to issue marriage license to same-sex couples, beginning on Monday, February, 9, 2015.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said in a written statement, “I am disappointed in the 11th US Circuit Court’s decision not to stay the federal district court’s ruling.  The confusion that has been created by the District Court’s ruling could linger for months until the US Supreme Court resolves this issue once and for all.”

AG Strange continued, “My office vigorously defended the constitutionality of Alabama’s marriage laws in the Searcy and Strawser cases, and we have appealed the court’s orders in those cases.  Today, we filed a motion with the US Supreme Court to stay the federal court’s decision until the Supreme Court finally rules on the issue in June.”

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Alabama State Director Ashley Jackson said in a statement on Tuesday, “This confirms what we already knew—that LGBT Alabamians have the constitutional right to marry regardless of who they love. The time has come for loving and committed couples from Florence and Huntsville to the Gulf Coast to be able to marry in the State they call home.”

The President and CEO of the conservative Alabama Policy Institute Caleb Crosby, said in a statement, “Today, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Alabama Attorney General’s request to temporarily halt the lower court’s strike down of Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act. As a research organization dedicated to the preservation of strong families, this comes as a great disappointment given that traditional marriage is central to this ideal. Further, as firm defenders of federalism, it is startling to see federal courts move so quickly to cast aside the desire of Alabamians to preserve traditional marriage in this State. In his dissent in US v. Windsor, Justice Alito wrote, ‘[I]n our system of government, ultimate sovereignty rests with the people and the people have the right to control their own destiny. Any change on a question so fundamental should be made by the people through their elected officials.’ We wholeheartedly agree and hope that the 11th Circuit will ultimately defer to the people of Alabama.”

US Representative Gary Palmer said in a statement, “I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, as do a large majority of the people of Alabama. The recent court decisions are troubling and disappointing. Unelected judges are achieving a political end that has been rejected by the electorate… I applaud Attorney General Luther Strange for appealing to the Supreme Court for a stay and hope that a stay is granted pending the resolution of the issue before the Supreme Court.”

HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said, “There is no justifiable reason to continue enforcing discriminatory marriage bans after a clear court order striking them down.”

In their statement, the HRC congratulated the plaintiffs in this case, Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand, and their attorneys, Christine Hernandez and David Kennedy; as well as James Strawser and John Humphrey, recently joined in court by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, for all their work to achieve this victory in court.

The Human Rights Campaign states that they are, “America’s largest organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.”

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