It surprised basically the whole world when a judge ruled that the state of Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, paving the way for gay marriage in the unlikely 37th state to legally recognize these unions. After all, the state of Alabama is notoriously religious and conservative, a virtual one-two punch for what proponents like to refer to as marriage equality. Despite having referendums where citizens actually voted to disallow same-sex marriages, this one judge, appointed by George W. Bush no less, was able to turn the ship around and open the floodgates for gay couples throughout the Heart of Dixie.
But that was only the beginning. Everyone’s favorite judge Roy Moore, infamous for his nonsensical fight about displaying the Ten Commandments from the Bible in a federal courthouse years ago, stood up immediately, ordering counties to turn their back on the order. Meanwhile, Alabama’s attorney general asked for the Supreme Court to stay the order until they take up the case themselves in a few short months. In what can only be viewed as a tipping of the highest court in the land’s hand, they refused to halt marriages, issuing what amounts to a federal order for the state of Alabama to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
That should have been the end of it, but no, not hardly. Roy Moore ordered probate offices throughout Alabama to ignore the federal order. Some did, some did not. Right now, about 11 or 12 of the counties in Alabama have grudgingly begun to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, not even constituting a quarter of the state. So, there are dozens of counties in the state of Alabama that are currently disallowing gay people to receive marriage licenses in violation of a federal order from the Supreme Court of the United States. Can you do that?
That is the question.
Legal experts are throwing up their hands on this one. Basically, probate offices are citing confusion as a reason to not follow the order. Basically they are sitting on the dock of the bay and can’t do what ten people tell them to do. This might be a valid argument, but the federal order trumps all, so ultimately they are breaking federal law by defying this order. But is their recourse? What can the federal government do, and should they? Well, Alabama has a history of defying federal orders before, and President John F. Kennedy used the military as a threat in making sure the government reigned supreme in the infamous “standing in the schoolroom door” incident with George Wallace years ago. Yes, President Obama can insist that Alabama comply with the federal order, and yes, he can use the military to enforce it if he so wishes. No doubt, this would be highly controversial, but with the hard work the mainstream media has done for years to convince the rest of the nation that Alabama is a blight on their existence, there are probably people all over America who would love to see the tanks roll into the streets of dixie and shut this down once and for all. Is it likely? Probably not. For starters, President Obama doesn’t even have the guts to use military force when ISIS is butchering Americans overseas, much less against people back home on American soil. And if he did have the balls to make such a move, how likely is it that Alabama would take this so far that a military invasion was actually necessary.
And still, some in conspiracy circles are already seeing a higher purpose to all this. What if President Obama and the federal government use this as a martial law experiment? Could the military enact martial law on the entire state of Alabama as a message that defying the federal government will not be tolerated?
What do you think? Can Alabama simply refuse to acknowledge a federal order? And just how far should the government go to coerce them? We want to hear your opinions.