In 2003, the Alabama State Legislature voted to keep sex toys illegal. In 2004, we voted to keep segregationist language in our state constitution. In 2005, we voted whether interracial marriage should be illegal. Now we are voting on gay marriage. On June 6, Alabamians went to the polls once again to make total fools out of ourselves because some people have too much time on their hands.
The state just recently came off of a win by Birmingham’s own Taylor Hicks in “American Idol,” but for some odd reason we do not know how to consistently promote our progressive image to the world. It seems as if our elected officials have too much time to spend time discussing gay marriage.
It is already illegal in Alabama for gay couples to get marriage licenses, so why bring this nonsense to the constituents? It seems as if there is always an attack on the “Southern heritage” that has always been to the demise of the state. During the civil rights movement, many saw their rights and heritage were being attacked, so civil rights were taken away from black people.
This idea even goes back further to the Civil War. Somehow many of us perceive that the lessening of others’ rights somehow coincides with the protection of our own rights, but you cannot poll morality or heritage.
These things begin within each person. Allow the people to vote on real issues. Let us vote to grant funds to the Black Belt region to build up the decaying schoolhouses and end the raw sewage spewing out of back yards due to the improper sewer funding. Let us vote on whether the state legislature should get a raise when they vote to increase their own salaries every few years.
We are tired of being the tail and not the head. I am sure the results of this election will be the topic on radio talk shows around the country and will make Alabama the punch-line once again on the late-night TV shows. I am also sure that if a developer or a family hears the state being ridiculed, they will not want to locate to a state that is so determined to take rights away, as opposed to enhancing them.
Alert to all legislators: We, the people of Alabama are ready for the real issues to be discussed in Montgomery. When you clock into the Legislature next time, clock in on the issues
(2014 Update: This article first appeared in the UAB Kaleidoscope, 6/6/06.)