FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Should Marriage In Alabama Only Be Recognized As A Private Contract?
In Which Alabama Dies Like A George R. R. Martin Character Stupid Enough To Obey Some Silly Code of Honor
I read things every so often that leave me believing all that is good about America will die a slow, hideous death in the ditch like a drunk or stoned transient experiencing the final liver collapse. Our culture and way of life are under a deconstructive assault and the traditionalists manning the ramparts athwart this invasion are not capable of holding the line. We see this dilemma in stark bas-relief as the State of Alabama has once more come-a-cropper with a new generation of activist judges. In 2006, the people of Alabama voted to amend their state constitution to include what they termed The Sanctity of Marriage Amendment (Alabama Amendment 774). Some parts of this amendment that were too direct and offensive to the post-modern American Zeitgeist read as follows:
(b) Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting this unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state……
(d) No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex.
(e) The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued.
(f) The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any common law marriage of parties of the same sex.
Call me crazy, but when 81% of the voting electorate approved this amendment; it left me with the distinct impression that Alabamians were really not enthusiastic fans of homosexual marriage. Both what 81% of the citizens of The Great State of Alabama want; and what their unelected overlords seated on the bench at U.S. Supreme Court want, are apparently two completely disjoint sets of outcomes. So much for the amusing fallacy that we the people are free to choose or legislate anything Justin Bieber wouldn’t give a like to on Facebook. The US Supreme Court dropped the hammer with a smug, chortling glee as soon as it could get its hand on a case that was grist for its mills.
Alabama became the latest state to see its ban on gay marriage fall to a federal court ruling Friday, as the issue of same-sex marriage heads to the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Callie V.S. Granade ruled in favor of two Mobile women who sued to challenge Alabama’s refusal to recognize their marriage performed in California. Alabama was among just 14 U.S. states where gay and lesbian couples were still barred from legally marrying.
So this has led to the Alabama State Senate in Montgomery abolishing the marriage license and making the act of marriage a private contract. And this, according to Elizabeth Price Foley, opens the proverbial Pandora’s Box.
The purpose? Presumably, by taking the State out of the business of issuing marriage “licenses,” marriage would just become another private contractual undertaking, and any Supreme Court ruling that, under the Due Process or Equal Protection Clauses, States must issue marriage “licenses” to same-sex couples would not bind the State of Alabama, which would no longer be in the marriage license business, as a technical, formal matter. But this seems a bit silly, since SB 377 says, “Effective July 1, 2015, the only requirement to be married in this state shall be for parties who are otherwise legally authorized to be married to enter into a contract of marriage as provided herein.” It then lists the required form of the contract. But the key question is who is “legally authorized to be married”? Presumably, the State of Alabama would continue to specify this (and has, pursuant to a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man, one woman). And also presumably, the Alabama Senate did not intend to authorize contractual marriage among multiple persons (polygamy) or among closely related individuals (incest).
Now I doubt that the mischief potential stops even there. An employment contract or a private membership or any number of other contractual vehicles could now contain highly parsed language describing who, what or how many you have to be married to in order to enter into the obligation. Once we divorce* love, commitment and sacred values from the discussion of what a marriage is, it becomes a potentially malignant legal formality. Alabama could steal a page from Sharia Law and authorize and sell temporary marriage as a way to legalize prostitution.
Or, not. Things could go the other way. The State of Alabama could become The Home of The Yellowhammer and The Red Tape as they desperately enter the business of legally limiting the heck out of what private citizens were entitled to contract amongst responsible parties. We’d be on our way to becoming Maryland or New Jersey with a nicer climate and better college football.
In trying to stop the onslaught against tradition, decency and affirmative culture that is the homosexual marriage movement, Alabama becomes increasingly reminiscent of the sort of character that suffers a horrible, humiliating death or rape during a plot climax of a George R. R. Martin novel. Have any type of honor code at all, be willing to take a stand on a basis of morality rather than chic self-promotion, and your code of honor becomes the tool of your own demise. Not only that, but the people doing it will laugh at you, demean you, and rape you. After they zip up and grunt with primal satisfaction, someone celebrates that despoiler for their terrific goodness and courage.
If you try to hold true to the values you were raised by and remain anchored against the post-modern effluvium of corrosive garbage, you just end up looking stupid as a reward for your efforts. That’s what will ultimately happen to The Alabama Senate here and the popular crowd on Twitter will celebrate as they voluminously defecate on Decency’s grave. It just makes me pine for that Sweet Meteor of Death that’s out there somewhere in the dark vast beyond, hastening to arrive like a glorious second coming.
*-That’s my bad pun for the day, folks.