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Same-sex marriage ban pure politics

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–What is happening in the Legislature on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in Alabama is grandstanding, pure and simple. You could argue that a constitutional amendment isn't necessary because we already have a law on the books prohibiting such unions.
But the lawmakers know full well that an overwhelming majority of their constituents are opposed to such marriages so they are hot to trot to approve putting the prohibition into the State Constitution.
The only debate now is purely political. The Republicans think the amendment should be on the General Election ballot, no doubt hopeful that it would lure conservative votes to the polls who would be more likely to vote for Republican candidates on the ballot.
Last year Rep. Allen Boothe, D-Troy, got the legislature to pass a resolution designating Conecuh Ridge whiskey as the "Official State Spirit."
It joined the Camellia as the official state flower, the Southern Pine as the state tree, the yellowhammer as the state bird…the list is endless. However to give such recognition to a commercial product was unprecedented.
The case for this resolution was made even weaker because the booze is made in Kentucky although the water does indeed come from Alabama.
No matter, the owner of the firm, Kenny May, who lives in Boothe's district… has run into all manner of legal problems: Selling alcohol to a minor, selling alcohol without a license, possessing an illegal quantity of alcohol in a dry county…on and on.
With all this turmoil facing him, Rep. Boothe has introduced a resolution to repeal this designation. You can be certain it will pass.
The cameras would be focused not on the driver but on the license plate, but Holmes, the tiny little guy with the hyperactive mouth, is convinced the cameras will not be color blind…that they will be used as a tool to harass and intimidate black drivers.
The sponsors of the legislation…Sen. Phil Poole, D-Moundville, in the Senate and Rep. David Grimes, R-Montgomery in the House, were somewhat taken aback by Holmes' opposition. "This is not racial profiling," Grimes said. "The only color I 'm concerned about is red."
The UA Trustees have submitted three nominees for seats on the board, one of them being Marietta Urquhart of Mobile to represent the 1st Congressional District.
But not too happy with that nomination is Riley Boykin Smith. He very much would like to have that seat and has so advised members of the Senate. To say that Smith has some clout is an understatement. Let me call the roll: He is the son of one of Alabama's all-time football greats, Riley Smith, who was a teammate of the Bear; he is the grandson of the late Congressman Frank Boykin; and he is the brother-in-law of Wallace Malone, a banker of considerable note in Birmingham. Lastly, he served in the Cabinet of Gov. Don SiegelmaN. It will be interesting to see if the Senate has the backbone to confirm the nomination of Urquhart…who is a University of Alabama-Birmingham grad…and not buckle under to the political pressure sure to be brought by Smith.

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