Mobile County Alabama ordered to issue marriage licenses

Timothy Kincaid

February 12th, 2015

On Monday, Judge Carrie Grenade’s stay was lifted and marriage equality came to Alabama. But not to all of the state.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered (apparently on his own imagined authority) and order commanding probate judges to refuse service to same-sex couples. Some probate judges followed Moore’s order and flouted the law, issuing marriage licenses to opposite sex couples but not same sex couples. And some chose to not issue licenses to anyone, citing conflicting orders.

Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis was one who froze all marriage licenses. On Monday, he was sued by same-sex couples in Mobile County who wish to marry.

Today Judge Grenade specifically ordered Davis to open his office and issue marriage licenses to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples. (

A federal judge in Mobile on Thursday ordered Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis to start granting marriage licenses to gay couples, and he immediately took steps to do just that.

Less clear is whether other probate judges, who are not defendants in either case considered Thursday, would alter their position in the face of a new ruling by Granade. Marshall, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said he believes most probate judges will take their cues from Granade’s new order. For those who continue to resist, he said, same-sex marriage advocates will file new lawsuits naming them as defendants.

This will, undoubtedly, result in most probate judges issuing licenses. But I suspect some will be recalcitrant and fight tooth and toenail.

enough already

February 12th, 2015

Well, this sure isn’t going to make the ‘but it’s not animus, it’s our right and duty as Christians’ argument look any better before the Supremes this spring.
Rather the opposite, actually.

Maybe some of these states should just secede (Texas would be number one on my list) and set up their Christian theocratic neo-fascist hate-driven regimes.
Let the gays and transgender people get out, leave the rest to suffer the consequences.
I bet it won’t even last two months before they come back begging.

Sir Andrew

February 12th, 2015

We all know the problem with antigay Justice Moore. But for these probate judges, it seems apparent they all skipped law school the day they taught law. There’s nothing confusing about this at all. There is one law; it is called the US Constitution. Everything else in the world of state constitutions and statutes (both state and federal) grow out of this single document. If a law is determined by the courts to be unconstitutional, then it cannot be enforced.

The über-hateful Moore, who has already displayed his disdain for any judge other than himself, has illegally injected himself into this matter by issuing his orders to the probate courts. There was no case before the Alabama Supreme Court dealing with this matter and he had no right–legally–to issue his orders. They are null and void and in full contempt of the federal courts. He needs to be in jail.

Further, there is nothing he can do to punish any probate judge who defies him. He can threaten and shout, but he’s just a big bully with nothing to support him. The governor has wisely already announced that nothing will happen to any judge who issues marriage licenses or who performs the weddings.

Alabama is just a backwards state trying desperately to remain in the 19th century. And Moore is doing everything he can to help them. It’s time to ask: Do we really need Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas in the union? They want to secede and I say good, go already.

Eric Payne

February 12th, 2015

enough already,

Secession from the Union would sever all ties between that state and the Federal government. Imagine what happens the first time a senior doesn’t get a Social Security check. Or Medicaid doesn’t pay a doctor. Not to mention all the money sitting in states’ banks — it’s legal tender of the United States… But The Soveriegn Nation of Texas wouldn’t be part of the United States anymore, so it’d be only worth some negotiated conversion amount of “x” number of cents per dollar.

Any money from the Feds –education funding, infrastructure support, farm subsidies, etc. — immediately ceases, any monies that state may need that Washington used to provide by rote would now have to be formally requested via the State Department… and I don’t think any state that seceded would be granted favored-nation status for a long, long time.

The Senate would lose two members for each state… so there’s one good thing. :-)


February 13th, 2015


Not that I disagree with you in principle, but you have a major factual error.

There are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people receiving Social Security checks who live in foreign countries. Many live in these countries for a lower cost of living (while their SS benefits are based on U.S. costs of living).

I’m tired of my hard-earned Blue-state money being shipped to these teat-sucking backwaters (and I mostly mean the state governments–not the people themselves).

Priya Lynn

February 13th, 2015

EA said “Maybe some of these states should just secede (Texas would be number one on my list) and set up their Christian theocratic neo-fascist hate-driven regimes.
Let the gays and transgender people get out, leave the rest to suffer the consequences”.

I’m never a fan of the “let them secede argument and all the good people can move away” idea. There will always be new LGBT and other good people born into the seceded christian hell-hole and those who can’t move for one reason or another and then things will be much worse for them. There’s no such thing as “let them have their christian theocracy and then the theocrats will only be hurting themselves.

Priya Lynn

February 13th, 2015

Its not like there’s no such thing as an LGBT, atheist, or christian in Islamic theocracies and only the muslims who wanted a theocracy are getting hurt.

enough already

February 14th, 2015

I’m quite well aware that there are queer people born into hell=holes every generation.
My husband and I lived in the bowels of Dixie for almost 8 years because first one parent and then another was too ill to leave on their own and we actually do believe in ‘honor thy parents’.

Nonetheless, we made a mistake holding onto Dixie. Time to let them fail, disastrously. It is the only way they’ll learn.
Or, if not, we’re still shed of them.
Besides, we could always have immigration agreements – queers could return to the US or come here later as full citizens and Christian haters could head down South and live out their lives with ilk of their chosen persuasion.

Priya Lynn

February 14th, 2015

LGBT teens have no right to move away and once again, not every adult LGBT or non-theocrat has the ability to move away either. Telling them to set up their own theocracy and no one but the theocrats will get hurt is simply never, ever true.

You’re just advocating abandoning non-theocrats and LGBTs to a living hell even if there might be fewer living there afterwards than there were before. That’s not very nice.

Priya Lynn

February 14th, 2015

“Time to let them fail, disastrously. It is the only way they’ll learn.”.

Right, just like they’ve learned in middle east theocratic nations.

Priya Lynn

February 14th, 2015

EA, didn’t most of the abuse that scarred you for life happen while you were a teenager? Is that what you want to subject thousands of LGBT teens to in these theocracies you advocate?

enough already

February 14th, 2015

I firmly believe nothing will end the cycle of STUPID in Dixie except absolute failure.
My heart goes out to those children, but the best way to help them is to end the CSA for good. As it stands now, they’ll never change.

Priya Lynn

February 14th, 2015

What’s this CSA you’re referring to?

Eric Payne

February 14th, 2015


You’re correct… I meant to refer to the state’s current workforce, who would lose the monies they’ve paid into Social Security. Imagine being 64 and suddenly seeing a large portion — if not all — of your retirement income vanishing.

enough already

February 14th, 2015

Confederate States of America.
It’s a common abbreviation. At least, I thought it was. I might be mistaken.

Eric Payne

February 14th, 2015


“CSA” is “Confederate States of America.”

And if you ever see a reference to “Stars and Bars,” it’s referencing the Confederate flag.

And “The Civil War” is “the War of Northern Aggression” (and, sometimes, “the War of Northern Oppression” as in: “Those Dan Yankees are oppressing my God-given right to own my ‘black people’, though they didn’t use the term “black people,” dontchaknow.)

Priya Lynn

February 14th, 2015

I’m not sure what this CSA EA is referring to, but if is saying the best way to help LGBT children who are victimized by theocrats is to encourage states to seperate and set up theocracies that he claims will fail – that’s crazy.

First, as we’ve seen with theocracy after theocracy, they don’t fail, they just continue on and on torturing innocent people and the idea that it would be the “best thing” for LGBT children to grow up in a theocracy and be tortured and abused by theocrats like he was as a child is disproven by he himself. EA is in his 50’s and obviously still so deeply disturbed by the abuse he endured as a teenager that he’ll never get over it and his those experiences sap his happiness to this day and fill him with unresolved anger that distorts his view of the world and his reactions to it. There’s no way EA is better off for having gone through abuse at the hands of theocrats that he seems to be suggesting would be “best” for other LGBT teenagers.

What I see is that EA is so angry at theocrats and so desirous of revenge that he is willing to sacrifice innocent people in his revenge fantasy of theocrats hurting themselves in their own theocracy. That is deeply unethica..

enough already

February 14th, 2015

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water,OK?
I’m neither a ‘deeply unhappy person’ nor a raving maniac, out for revenge cost it what it may.

Given that I had to establish my sanity to escape the Christians torturing me in the nut-house, I actually am certified sane.

However, you raise some interesting points.

It would be true insanity for me to forget what the Christians did to me in the name of their God.
I was subject to ice-baths, electro-shock and chemical castration.
I was beaten into submission, restrained, locked up in complete darkness, fed a diet which forced me to have uncontrollable diarrhea.

All because of Christian hatred of gay men.

So, please, instead of trivializing my torture at the hands of you Christians in an attempt to make your point, why don’t acknowledge that your Christian faith is at the root of the worst barbarities done to queers in the history of this country?
Why don’t you focus on the harm you do to us instead of pretending that I, who survived and who could not be ‘converted’ despite all that torture, am the one who’s got the wrong viewpoint?

From what we’ve seen in Alabama these past few days, nothing has changed for you Christians, at all.

Eric Payne

February 15th, 2015


I don’t know EA’s back-story, but the lowlights of it which he shares make me believe he and I have lived remarkably similar lives.

I’m a little amazed, Priya, that you — who, apparently didn’t live a childhood in which your very life was simply day-to-day survival — would so nonchalantly dismiss his experiences as some bias against Christians.

As a 56 year old man raised in a Pennsylvania Amish backwood by West Virginia rednecks, I know EA’s story is pretty much the norm for any of us “diagnosed” with homosexuality. Our lives were torture.

Some of us made it through, but live a life in the closet, not wanting to make waves. Some of us became “radical” queers/fags, where life is a continuous fight against oppression both real and imagined. Some, like Robert Oscar Lopez, seemed to develop a sort of “Stockholm Syndrome.” And a portion of us, in which I include myself and EA, made it through and just live our lives.

We’re the ones the Christian Right fears. After everything they’ve done to us, we’re calm. They can’t get us to become screaming queens, no matter how shrill they, themselves become. We use science and recreatable data to bolster our arguments, not ethereal hokum and inflicted guilt.

That you, Priya, may never have been exposed to the full bag-of-tricks Christians have been allowed to, if not outright encouraged to force on scared children, teens and young adults, doesn’t mean those of us who have been should have our experiences discounted and dismissed.

We forgive… but we’ll never forget. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

Priya Lynn

February 15th, 2015

I don’t know where you guys got that I was trivializing or discounting the torture you experienced – I don’t discount it in the slightest, I have never doubted you were accurately describing what happened to you at the hands of christians. My point was that given the terrible treatment EA experienced it baffles me that he’d want states to secede, create theocracies, and see far, far greater numbers of LGBT teens subjectd to the abuse he experienced.

And I didn’t live a childhood free from abuse. I had an older sister who attacked me every chance she got and devoted tremendous effort to making my life miserable which she succeded in doing. My older brothers and sisters (8 of them) also partook in this abuse albeit to lesser levels. It doesn’t sound like it compares to what EA went rhought but to me it felt like growing up in a war zone. I’m 53 now and its only been in the past couple of years I feel like I’ve substantially gotten over the psychological damage that did to me. So, please don’t think its been all peaches and cream for me as a child. I was suicidal and extremely depressed, a depression that followed me throughout most of my adult life and left me feeling suicidal at various. A points in that adulthood. Seething anger at my family did sap my happiness and its only now due to my wonderful husband of 7 years I finally feel happy.

EA, I am shocked that you could have been on this blog for the amount of time you have and think I’m a christian. I’m an outspoken atheist and have had many arguemtnts with Timothy on this blog about how bad I thiink christianity (and all religions) is.

I’ve long agreed with you that christianity at its heart is abusive even though I wasn’t aware of stories such as yours showing how extreme it could get. I despise christianity but I recognize that not every christian is responsible for the actions of the worst christians and that’s my only criticism, it appears to me you think every christian is as evil as the ones that tortured you and in some way responsible for what happened to you and I would hope you could avoid pre-judging all christians on that basis.

Priya Lynn

February 15th, 2015

EA said “why don’t acknowledge that your Christian faith is at the root of the worst barbarities done to queers in the history of this country?”.

Once again, I’ve been an atheist and despiser of christianity for decades. I agree that christianity is at the root of many of the worst barbarities done to queers in the history of your country, but I don’t agree that its responsible for all of them.

I’ve seen many, many people who although they might have called themselves christians if asked basically had no use for the religion, didn’t ever attend church, pray, or do anything that would could be described as following christianity express extreme hatred of gays and lesbians, assault them, demonize them, and then quote the bible (the only time they ever did so I’m sure) to justify their abuse of gays and lesbians. Its obvious to me that many of the people committing barbarities to gays and lesbians do so because they think they’re icky, or they are fighting their own same sex attractions by proxy and christianity and the bible are merely excuses they use to justify their actions.

Eric Payne

February 15th, 2015

Spirituality is a wonderful concept.

Organized religion is evil.

enough already

February 17th, 2015

Goodness, what a buzz that all produced.

Eric, I regret deeply what you went through. You’re quite right about the paths those of us who survived have taken.

Priya, you and I aren’t like oil and water, we’re more like unstable nitro-glycerin and a hot, shinny day on a rutted, bumpy road.
With few exceptions, there’s not been a single topic over the years where we either didn’t butt heads or might have done, had one or the other of us replied.
It’s lovely that you’re a voice of moderation and tolerance.
My position has always been, why bring a knife to a gun fight when thermo-nukes are so cheap and ready to hand?

To end this and answer you. Had we let the CSA go, they would quickly have failed. They didn’t have the international support to wage the wars of aggression against Cuba they thought they had. They didn’t have the resources to industrialize, as they would have had to in order to compete. Finally, dawning changes in world trade would have made their few economic advantages as trading partners with allies too weak.
The whole thing would have come undone, and that fairly quickly.

Now, look at how nasty some people here get when I point out that the only way out of this quagmire is for us queers and the young women to vote. All of us to vote. Every time. I recall Nathaniel’s dismissal of the matter quite well. We can’t have it both ways. Either we accept that the conservative Christians will always win the local elections, either through true numbers or (more likely) through the apathy of their victims or we try something new.
I’m not so sure that a new-CSA wouldn’t just fit the bill. It would tie up the conservative Christians’ energies for quite a while, and provide an outlet for their hatred.
Imagine all the new rules they could draw from Sharia law and rename. Imagine all the ‘patriot’ this and ‘gen-u-whine’ Christian that they could decree.
Meanwhile, the rest of us could focus on feeding children, freeing the unjustly incarcerated, fixing (what’s left) of our environment…the list goes on and on.

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