Gov. Bentley probably wanted to have a legislature vote but wouldn't get much support from the conservative politicians. Some say, "Let's vote on the Confederate flag," but given the failure of prior referendums and the angst from the state debate over that issue, Bentley reasoned that it just wasn't going to work in Alabama.
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.
There is one married lesbian couple in Texas right now. Probably. Last week a judge allowed Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant to obtain a marriage license, citing urgency after Sarah was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The ruling applies only to this one couple. And according to state officials, that's still one couple too many.
Across Alabama, local judges are openly defying a federal judicial order to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The New York Times reported yesterday that 44 of the state's 67 counties were not granting licenses. The state is a checkerboard where gay and lesbian Alabamans are locked out of full citizenship across vast swaths of the state based on the whims of local officials.
The chief justice of Alabama's supreme court is making a stand in the courthouse door. This is not literally happening, the way it did in 1963 when Alabama Gov. George Wallace made a similar stand in the schoolhouse door. But in both cases, high Alabama officials are trying to preserve the state's ability to discriminate against a segment of its population.