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Democrats win fight over marriage vote

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–A proposed amendment to the State Constitution to ban same-sex marriages now needs only the approval of the Alabama voters.
The State Senate gave its OK to the proposition already approved by the House, and since it is a constitutional amendment the governor's signature is not required.
The only question remaining is when will the people vote on it? The amendment provides that it will be voted on at the next special election, or if none is called, it will be on the primary ballots in June 2006.
The date of the election was really the only debate on this amendment.
It had overwhelming support from both parties in the Legislature, but there was sharp disagreement on when it would appear on the ballot.
Republicans wanted it on the General Election ballot, figuring it would attract many conservative voters to the polls. Democrats knew this would be so, hence their opposition to the vote in a General Election. The Democrats won this fight.
Earlier Hubbert, the main man of the AEA, the teachers' union, had demanded a 7 percent pay raise for them. Riley countered with a 4 percent raise.
Hubbert howled in protest, saying that was not enough, but last week he lowered his sights to a 6 percent raise. It was sort of mindful of a guy trying to sell a used car. He initially asks for more than he expects to get, then backs off a bit.
Now folks who watch such things will be looking to see if Riley comes back with an offer of a 5 percent raise. Feelings are so strong between the two it is unlikely Riley will budge from his first offer. The size of the raise the teacher will get will be decided by the Legislature and in that arena you have to figure Hubbert will prevail.
One is General Joseph (Fighting Joe) Wheeler, who had the distinction of being the only man to serve as a general in both the Confederate and later as a general in the U. S. Army; the other was Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry…himself a Confederate general and later a congressman.
Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley thinks it is important that a statue of a woman should be one of the Alabamians honored in the Capitol. She is campaigning to have the statue of the relatively unknown Curry replaced with a statue of Helen Keller.
Riley was in Washington last week promoting the Keller statue, and after walking through Statuary Hall she called it a "forest of men." She is right. Most of those honored there are men. She aims to change that.
Blame I am sure must go in large degree to the unprecedented security for the President, but there is no other way to put it–it was an absolute mess on the campus.
They had only about a half-dozen of those metal-screening devices to handle the crowd, and compounding the problem was that many women for whatever reason brought handbags with them. Each had to be emptied and scrutinized. As to his sales pitch, Bush said what he has said at countless such rallies and will say at a lot more. Whether he changed his minds only time will tell.
A side-bar to this story…a few hours before Bush arrived in Montgomery the Democrat-controlled State Senate delivered an "Un-Welcome To Montgomery" message to Bush.
The Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Send. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, voicing opposition to Bush's plan to overhaul Social Security.

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