During his campaign for the Alabama Legislature last year, now-State Sen. Larry Stutts, a Sheffield Republican and OB/GYN, vowed to get the government out of the middle of the patient-physician relationship. He made no mention of the fact that what he really had in mind was putting insurance companies back in the middle of that relationship.
Ever hear of Oscar DePriest? He made history a hundred years ago Monday. Few today remember him, but a hundred years ago, on April 6, 1915, Oscar DePriest made history, becoming the first African-American elected alderman in Chicago.
If you're straight and you need time off to care for a sick spouse, federal law requires that you get Family and Medical Leave. If you're gay, you could get denied that right, depending on what state you live in.
People ask me, "What was your thought process in deciding to officiate at the wedding of a same-sex couple?" My amused answer: "I didn't have a thought process. I just said 'yes' to the invitation."
Texas just filed a lawsuit to prevent gays and lesbians from taking family medical leave. And it's going to take at least five different bills to overturn Michigan's marriage ban.
Racism and bigotry are overwhelming and mind numbing issues. The big picture frustrates me to no end. The only person that I truly can control is myself, which happens to be the best place to start fixing most problems I know.
I was a member of this chapter 14 years ago. The second Black man to be initiated in those halls. I thought we were different. Maybe I was just being hopeful. I believed in S-A-E. I believed in the True Gentlemen. I believed my brothers were my brothers. I believed my son should be their brother if he so chose one day. But then I saw that video.
Well, it seemed like marriage was safe in Alabama, but the state Supreme Court still had a one weird trick up its sleeve. Even though a federal court ordered marriage to begin, the Alabama Supreme Court has now ordered it to stop.
This weekend I am honored and humbled to join President Obama and the rest of the First Family, Congressman and Civil Rights hero John Lewis, dozens of my other Congressional colleagues and thousands of people from around the country as we gather in Selma, Alabama to mark the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
By directly ignoring a federal court's ruling, the bullies who make up the Alabama Supreme Court have shown us that not only is discrimination alive and well, it will risk disobeying actual laws in order to achieve its sectarian goals.
History will credit SNCC, SCLC, CORE, NAACP and many local organizations throughout the South in many campaigns, to get the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965. SNCC in Montgomery was a training ground in discipline, survival and how to channel anger into winning strategies through organization and confrontation.
Gov. George Wallace is a reminder that recognition of basic legal rights is an essential start but just a beginning and is insufficient on its own. Rosa Parks and Stokely Carmichael are reminders that the only way to forever remove George Wallace from our schoolhouse door is to marry the fight for legal equality with a vigorous fight for community strength and vitality.
Maybe it is futile to try to explain this to Justice Moore. Would he ever be able to understand that someone who is bisexual is capable of monogamy? Or that gender identity is not linked to sexual orientation? Or that incest is not the same thing as homosexuality? Trying to explain these concepts to Roy Moore is like explaining string theory to a clam.
I've still got chills thinking about the week that began Monday, Feb. 9. When I woke up that Monday at 5 a.m., it finally hit me: I was about to witness same-sex couples say their vows and be legally wed in Birmingham, Alabama.
I call on all Christians to lay down your scriptures, dogmas, doctrines and interpretations long enough to learn how to love your neighbor as your self.
For the state of Alabama, or any other state, to deny gay couples the equal protection of its laws simply because they're gay is not only wrong and immoral, it's arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional. It's as simple as that.