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House OKs referendum on displaying Ten Commandments on public property

A 3D render of two stone tablets with the ten commandments etched on them lit by a dramatic spotlight on a dark background

Thursday, the Alabama House of Representative passed legislation allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed in government buildings, including schools, as part of a historical display.

Senate Bill 181 was as sponsored by state Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville.

SB181 was carried on the floor of the House by State Representative Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs.

Mooney said that the Ten Commandments would have to be part of a historical display with other exhibits.

State Rep. Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, said on social media, “With all the violence we have been seeing recently in our schools I think this bill is a positive one. Here is the vote tally for the Ten Commandments bill which restates rulings already decided by our Unites States Supreme Court. The display is legal in a historical context with other historical articles.”

State Representative Barbara Boyd, D-Anniston, charged that Republicans just wanted to bring back Roy Moore’s Ten Commandments monument out of storage.

Mooney denied that allegation.

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State Rep. Marcel Black, D-Tuscumbia, said that he believed that the state would be sued and would be forced to spend money defending this legislation.

State Rep. Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville, predicted that the state would be sued and it would cost money to defend the statute.

Mooney said that a private group, like Liberty Counsel, would pay for the defense.

State Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, said he looked forward to a day when people could just practice their faith without worrying about being sued.

State Rep. Mary Moore, D-Birmingham, said what good is displaying the Ten Commandments if you don’t put them into practice.

The bill is a constitutional amendment, thus the voters have to decide in a referendum whether to pass this into law or not.

Black suggested that the Republican super majority was putting this amendment on the ballot for political reasons.

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SB181 passed on a 69-18 vote.

The bill has already passed the Senate. It now goes to the voters in November.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.



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