4 years ago

SCOTUS legalizes same-sex marriage across the country

gay marriage alabama
WASHINGTON — In a 5-4 decision Friday, the Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage bans across the country, effectively creating a constitutional right to marriage.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, usually considered a swing vote, sided with the court’s more liberal justices to render the decision. Kennedy also wrote the majority opinion.

In his opinion, Kennedy said “The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate. The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.”

Again calling out his colleagues in his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said, “This is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. Except as limited by consitutional prohibition agreed to by the People, the States are free to adopt whatever laws they like, even those that offend the esteemed Justices’ ‘reasoned judgment.’ A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”

From Governor Robert Bentley (R-AL): “I have always believed in the Biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. That definition has been deeply rooted in our society for thousands of years. Regardless of today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, I still believe in a one man and one woman definition of marriage. The people of Alabama also voted to define marriage as between a man and woman. I always respect the people’s vote, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has disregarded the choice made by the people of Alabama in its decision today.”

From Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL): “My long-standing position remains that marriage was created as a sacred union between one man and one woman. While I respect the rule of law, I disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling and believe that this decision should have been allowed to be made by the states.”

From Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL): “Five judges have neither the moral nor legal authority to decide for themselves that the heritage which gave birth to our nation should be supplanted with their own… The civilization we flourish in today did not spring out of nothing: it was carved out of the wilderness by families and communities knitted together by their faith and traditions, and set upon a foundation stretching back thousands of years.

When a society begins to strike its shared faith and traditions from every place of respect, a new faith always takes its place. Where the family is not the center of American life, government is. Today’s ruling is part of a continuing effort to secularize, by force and intimidation, a society that would not exist but for the faith which inspired people to sail across unknown waters and trek across unknown frontiers.”

From Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL1): “I have always believed that marriage should be defined as the union between one man and one woman. I believe today’s decision threatens what should be exclusive state jurisdiction over matters pertaining to marriage.”

From the Alabama Policy Institute: “Foundational to the Alabama Policy Institute’s mission is the adherence to an originalist understanding of the Constitution, zeal for the “numerous and indefinite” powers reserved to the states, and lastly, a biblical view of matters affecting the family. Today’s ruling trounces on a strict interpretation of the Constitution by creating an entirely new right and by inexplicably taking the matter out of the hands of the people of each state.

This ruling will have far-reaching consequences, particularly for those who maintain sincere religious beliefs on marriage. We call on our state’s delegation in Congress, the Governor of Alabama, and the Alabama Legislature to take proactive steps to ensure that no Alabamian will be forced to relinquish the freedom to live in accordance with their religious convictions on this matter.”

ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan: “With the decision of the United States Supreme Court today to remove state barriers for the implementation of same-sex marriage in America, Alabama’s 2006 Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, which was approved by a landslide 81% of the vote of our people, was ignored and buried. Our country is a republic and our state’s rights should be upheld, but Alabama was told today by five judges in Washington, DC that our voices are mute and the 697,591 Alabamians that voted and made our state’s decision to deny marriage licenses to members of the same sex is null and void.

“Our boundaries have been breached once again by the overreaching hand of the federal judicial system. The majority of the people in Alabama lost their voice today. Alabamians are kind and loving people and our reputation for our hospitality and care for others is known across the land, however we also guard our rights to make our own decisions. Today Alabama’s vast majority on this topic was silenced.”

From Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange: “While I do not agree with the opinion of the majority of the justices in their decision, I acknowledge that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling is now the law of the land. Short of the passage of a Constitutional Amendment protecting marriage as between one man and one woman, the U.S. Supreme Court has the final say.

“But while the states are now required to recognize same-sex marriage, I expect the focus will now turn to the exercise of one’s religious liberty. I will continue to defend the religious liberties of Alabamians and ensure that people and businesses honoring their religious beliefs are protected.”

From Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL7): “There are moments in American history when the trajectory of our nation shifts. Today, the Supreme Court’s ruling affirmed the basic principle that our Constitution affords all Americans the equal protections under the law, while also acknowledging our First Amendment right to maintain our own religious beliefs. Marriage licenses are an instrument of the state, and every person should have the right to marry. This decision upholds the equal dignity of all Americans to enter and have the same rights afforded by the union of marriage.”

From Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL4): “The Supreme Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriage today is greatly disappointing, and I share a heavy-heart with many of my fellow Americans. I believe with this decision the court has crowned itself the arbiter of social and cultural change, rather than just simply interpreting the law.

“One of my chief concerns with this decision is the impact it could have on religious freedoms in our country. Will this decision be used by the Federal Government to force churches, religious organizations and religious educational institutions to violate their core convictions?

“I believe this ruling will eventually force a showdown between citizens who support the First Amendment and those who don’t. The First Amendment says the Federal Government will not deny the free exercise of religion. However, I fear this ruling will lead to exactly that situation.

“I will be working with my conservative colleagues in Congress to ensure that the Federal Government does not use this ruling to further endanger our religious liberties.”

From Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL6): “I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision in this case and believe it represents the height of Judicial activism. Two years ago, in U.S. v Windsor, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional because they claimed that it interfered with the right of states to define marriage as each state saw fit. Now that same Court has summarily invalidated the right of every state, such as Alabama, that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

“Nonetheless, it is important to remember that in a larger sense, neither the Supreme Court nor any government entity can redefine marriage, because the definition of marriage pre-exists government. No one can change the fundamental nature of what marriage is: the union of a man and woman and the formation of family which is the foundation of every civilization. The Court’s ruling cannot change that. Because of this ruling I have grave concerns about the assault against the religious liberties of the millions of Americans for whom marriage is a religious institution and will always remain one. Congress should act to ensure that the religious liberties of all Americans are protected so that no one is ever be forced or coerced into violating their conscience.”

This story will be updated with reactions from Alabamians as they come in.


12 hours ago

University of North Alabama adopting new tuition plan

The University of North Alabama is switching to a tuition plan that officials say will result in increased costs for some students but not others.

Officials at the school in Florence say they are reducing the total number of student fees from seven to one, and fees will be included in the overall tuition cost.

91

A statement says students taking 15 hours will see a maximum increase in expenses of 4.1%.

But some could pay less, and costs will not change for others.

School officials say a lag in state funding is a continuing problem.

North Alabama’s vice president for business, Evan Thornton, says the school has deferred maintenance and capital needs totaling more than $160 million.

The school has an undergraduate enrollment of about 6,200 students.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

Sign-up now for our daily newsletter and never miss another article from Yellowhammer News.

13 hours ago

Nathan Lindsay joining governor’s office from BCA

Another high profile staffer from the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) is joining Governor Kay Ivey’s senior level team.

The governor on Monday announced that Nathan Lindsay will join her office as director of appointments effective July 1.

This position is charged with spearheading the meticulous work that goes into Ivey meeting her duty to appoint qualified, representative and appropriate people to positions on the state’s various boards and commissions.

A press release from the governor’s office outlined that Lindsay assumes the role with an extensive background in state government and the private sector, which uniquely qualifies him to advise the governor in this capacity.

382

Most recently, through his work in political and governmental affairs at the BCA, Lindsay interacted with members of the business community throughout the Yellowhammer State, which significantly adds to his ability to identify and select candidates for various appointed posts.

Additionally, Lindsay’s early career included time in then-Governor Bob Riley’s office where he served as aide to the governor from 2006 to 2011. Lindsay also worked in the governor’s communications office as deputy press secretary and advised Riley on education policy.

“Nathan brings to our team a wealth of knowledge that I know will serve the state well,” Ivey said in a statement. “In addition to his expertise and insight, Nathan is a man of character. The men and women of my staff must have a strong work ethic, a depth of knowledge and a heart for public service. Nathan certainly embodies all of these characteristics.”

Lindsay earned his bachelor’s degree from Faulkner University. During his time at Faulkner, he served as SGA president and later, in 2018, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Arts and Sciences.

“As governor, I have the important responsibility of appointing qualified individuals to serve on the more than 450 boards and commissions in our state. These men and women must not only be highly-qualified, but they should also be a true reflection of our great state,” Ivey added. “I am confident we will continue to find the best people to serve our state, just as I am certain Nathan will serve my Administration exceptionally well in this position. His experience speaks for itself, and he shares my goal of moving Alabama into a better future.”

This comes weeks after Leah Garner departed BCA to become Ivey’s communications director.

Mark Colson also left BCA to become head of the Alabama Trucking Association recently.

Update 5:55 p.m.:

BCA President and CEO Katie Boyd Britt released a statement commending Ivey on the hire of Lindsay.

“Nathan’s background and expertise in political affairs combined with his political acumen uniquely qualify him to serve the governor and the state in this capacity,” Britt said. “I have no doubt Nathan will do an outstanding job, and I commend Governor Kay Ivey on this excellent addition to her staff.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

13 hours ago

Alabama listed as one of the top 20 most patriotic states in America

A WalletHub report released Monday revealed Alabama to be on of the top 20 most patriotic states in America.

Ranked 19 overall on the list, with a score of 47.43, Alabama ranked first for the “Civics Education Requirement.”

The report “compared the 50 states across 13 key indicators of patriotism” and “ranges from share of enlisted military population to share of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.”

124

With one as “Most Patriotic” and 25 as “Average,” Alabama received the following rankings:

  • 5th – Average Number of Military Enlistees per 1,000 Civilian Adults
  • 30th – Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults
  • 17th – Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults
  • 1st – Civics Education Requirement
  • 12th – Share of Civilian Adult Population in Military Reserves
  • 10th – Share of Adults Who Voted in 2016 Primary Elections

Alabama also ranked eight overall for ‘Military Engagement.’

The report, which compared red states to blue states in terms of patriotism, found that red states were more patriotic. Red states received an average rank of 23.67, while blue states received an average rank of 28.25.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

14 hours ago

Brooks: ‘Really dumb’ for Democrats to elect candidates mainly on ‘skin pigmentation or their chromosomes’

In an interview on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show”on Friday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) lamented that many Democrats have become more interested in racial and gender identity politics than the welfare of America.

Coming off of her much maligned comments comparing American immigration facilities to “concentration camps,” host Dale Jackson asked the north Alabama congressman if he believes that Democrats in Congress will allow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to continue to serve as their “de facto face and leader.”

“Yes,” Brooks answered succinctly, promoting a follow-up request for his reasoning.

176

“Well, she is where she is,” Brooks explained. “She’s got a lot of political power. She’s got a lot of support — surprisingly.”

“There are large, large numbers of American citizens who have bit off on this socialist stuff, who have bit off on this victimization stuff, who have bit off on thinking that the most important criteria in determining whether to elect someone is their skin pigmentation or their chromosomes — which is really dumb, OK,” he continued. “We oughta be electing people based on their character and based on their public policy positions.”

“But, notwithstanding that, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the face of the Democratic Party in many different respects, and she does have great influence as evidenced by the presidential candidates on the socialist Democrats’ side who are trying to cultivate her support,” Brooks added. “They want her endorsement.”

Listen, starting at the 8:25 mark:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

15 hours ago

Democrats hope it’s 2017 all over again, Republicans just want the nightmare to end

In 2017, Roy Moore won a Republican primary run-off against an extremely flawed Luther Strange. Strange wasn’t just a regular candidate — he had the cloud of his appointment, and he was dogged by former Gov. Robert Bentley’s investigation, impeachment and resignation.

Alabama Republicans, outside of U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), were reluctant to criticize Roy Moore because they knew doing so would hand the Senate seat to now-Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

But this is different.

370

State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) told the Montgomery Advertiser that he blamed the GOP establishment in 2017, but still thinks Moore can’t win in 2020.

He stated, “I do not believe, with the numbers I look at, that Roy Moore at the end of the day can get the nomination.”

State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) dismissed Moore when asked about the candidates, saying, “If you look at the candidates, you got Roy Moore. I don’t think we need to say more there.”

Later, he all but endorsed U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) by saying Byrne “would do the best job.”

Secretary of State John Merrill, a potential future Moore opponent, believes Moore has an uphill battle against Jones.

“I think it would be extraordinarily difficult for Judge Moore to be successful in a general election campaign against Senator Jones,” Merrill outlined.

He added, “I also think it would be difficult for Judge Moore to secure the Republican nomination.”

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), who endorsed Moore in 2017, has already endorsed State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) and is on record saying former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions would be a favorite.

“I do believe that Jeff Sessions would clearly be number one in the poll rankings, based on his having been such a great senator on three principle issues: free enterprise versus socialism; deficit and debt; and border security,” he explained.

Say what you will, but you do not usually see these kinds of pronouncements from Republicans in the middle of a primary.

Democrats hope 2017 is going to be repeated in 2020, but there are many different factors that will matter.

Roy Moore is already fatally flawed as 300,000+ Republicans voters abandoned him in 2017 and stayed home. Many of those voters will vote in the primary in 2020, but will not vote for him.

U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks) expressed a similar sentiment on CSPAN last week.

“I personally don’t think Roy Moore is going to be our nominee, but whoever our nominee is will prevail in November because you’ll have the full complement of Republican voters turning out turning out to vote,” he said.

This is not 2017.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.