Are Alabama Legislators Attempting to Control an Election Outcome?

In Alabama, both houses of the state legislature are controlled by the Democrats. By a vote of 30-0, the Alabama Senate voted to place a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage on the June 2006 ballot. There was only a small handful of dissenting votes in the House.

With these sorts of numbers, it’s obvious the Democrats are no more concerned about the rights of homosexuals than the Republicans are. Based on these numbers, it’s likely that the key opposition votes in the constitutional referendum will come from Libertarians, Greens and independent voters.

In order to ensure that Alabama votes the way the legislature wants, they established June 6 as the date voters decide on this constitutional amendment. What’s significant is that June 6 is the Democratic and Republican primary election date. With a very heated gubernatorial election, poll turnout will likely be high for the Republicans and Democrats, but the third-party and many independent voters aren’t allowed a dog in this race.

With respect to gay rights, George Wallace’s quip about there not being a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties comes to mind.

With respect to the election date selected, it’s just a continuance of the deplorable state of affairs within Alabama politics.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Wouldn’t the libertarian strategy be to eliminate all the free handout goodies to all married people… thereby eliminating the need for gay couples to be married simply to lower their taxes?

  2. Rick,

    I agree, in general. However, if special status (and tax breaks) are to be provided to some people, they should be allowed to all people equally. It’s an incremental step, IMO.

    By analogy, would you support a tax break for white people which isn’t available to black people?

  3. No, but I would certainly support a tax break (also known as a tax “break” for everyone).

  4. Well, my opinion is.. publicize the discrimination. Post billboards showing how slavery was sanctioned in the bible, how women were property of men, and had no say in law or held any status. Publicize every thing that the Bible said was good by the “Almighty” and on every ad, state, it was wrong then, it’s wrong now to oppress and discriminate. This country was baised on freedoms, not oppressions and there is a separation between church and state for a reason. Religion is a choice orentation is not. You choose to believe in what ever “higher power” there is. A person has no choice on how they feel inside, you can choose to deny those feelings, but in the end, they always win out, for they make you who and what you are.

  5. The reason advanced for same-sex marriage has nothing to do with taxes. Haven’t you heard of the so-called marriage penalty? There’s no tax benefit to marrying. However, there are well over a thousand legal protections, most significantly being able to visit an ill partner in hospital and make medical decisions for him or her as well as the right to inherit, that heterosexual married couples automatically get without having to draw up complicated relationship contracts and powers of attorney. Opponents of same-sex documents argue that such documents are sufficient, but they’re not. It is uncertain that they will be enforced by a court, depending on the state. The estranged family of a deceased partner could sue the surviving partner, forcing a settlement out of the survivor’s fear of losing or simply spending so much on legal fees that there won’t be anything left anyway. The right to marry is essential to equality.

  6. “the third-party and many independent voters aren’t allowed a dog in this race.” How so? Are you saying that because you don’t have a primary to vote in, you aren’t willing to go to the polls and vote against the referendum? The only “control” I see going on with the date is that the Democrats who control the legislature didn’t want it on the ballot at the general election where it would hurt their chances and third parties don’t enter into that equation at all.

  7. Tom — it’s a simple matter of basic electoral politics and human nature. Primary voters are going to be more motivated to go to the polls to vote for their candidates. That’s one reason for this posting — to start the ball rolling on motivating people to show up at the polls. Two (I think) sites have already linked this posting, so it’s starting.

    And you are correct, the Democrats don’t want it on the ballot in November.

  8. The only problem with your argument is that any Alabama voter has the right to go to the polling place and select a ballot that includes neither party’s primary, only the general ballot propositions and any local races (if any) that are being contested.

    In other words, no one is being disenfranchised here.

  9. Ok, So I’m a gay man chiming in from New York — a blue state where we can’t even get marriage equality. I love the south dearly, but aren’t these amendments unnecessary? From reading the article it seems inevitable that the amendment will pass whether or not it’s on the day of the primary. I wish it were not the case.