About 17 protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse in Mobile this afternoon to protest the recent rulings from Judge Ginny Granade, who has twice since Friday declared Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.
Led by Dean Young, who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne in a 2013 special election, the group brandished a sign that read “www.iStandWithJudgeMoore.com,” — a website set up for those who, like Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, are opposed to Granade’s recent decisions.
“We’ve come here today because what we’re seeing is a federal judge that’s completely out of bounds,” Young said. “We’re here to stand with Judge Roy Moore, who happens to be the highest-elected judge in this nation.”
Young, who made international headlines during his campaign after telling homsexuals in Alabama to “go back to California,” said the United States has “sat back for far too long and watched as these federal judges ruin our nation.” He referenced the 21 other states that have allowed same-sex unions to become lawful, and said “it is going to stop here in Alabama.”
“We as a people have had it with these federal judges forcing their will down the people’s throats,” Young said. “81 percent of the people in Alabama voted, and they said marriage is between a man and woman. That goes back to the biblical definition. No matter how many federal judges want to pretend that homosexuals can be married, they can’t.”
Young predicated his comments by claiming the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution delineates the responsibilities not “specifically given” to the federal government to the state governments. He said Granade’s violation of this was “out of bounds” and “unconstitutional.”
Some of the other protesters, as well as Young, had copies of a letter from Moore written to Gov. Robert Bentley on Jan. 27 that called the recent rulings “judicial tyranny,” and also cited passages from the Gospel of Mark.
Young wouldn’t elaborate on how Moore, a state judge, would overrule Granade, a federal judge, but he did say he “expects him to do what the constitution says.” He also said, unlike chief justices in other states, Moore has “the guts” and the “fortitude” to stand up to the federal court system, which he’s done before.
Moore was famously removed from the bench as chief justice in 2004 after the state supreme court upheld a decision from Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary to punish Moore for refusing to obey a federal judge’s order to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments. He was then reelected to the same position nine years later.
Young and the rest of the protesters went inside the courthouse to present Judge Granade with a copy of Moore’s letter to Gov. Bentley, and said “school was in session” because Moore was “educating these federal judges.” However, Young didn’t elaborate on the group’s plan to respond to the recent rulings — saying only they would “be here until the end.”
“Maybe she’ll read what Judge Moore has written. I’ll expect she’ll be embarrassed, and try to dig her heels in,” Young said of Granade. “She’s not elected by the people, she’s not accountable to anybody and frankly, she can just say whatever she wants to. That’s all just her opinion, and it’s not set upon anything. Judge Moore has made that very clear.”
David Kennedy and Christine Hernandez, the attorneys who represented the same-sex couple Granade ruled in favor of, called Moore “a professional politician” and his letter “nothing more than a cheap political stunt.”
“Judge Moore’s letter is the very definition of political opportunism and demagoguery that has plagued our state for far too long,” the pair said in an email to Lagniappe. “Judge Moore’s own history of defying federal court orders echoes through his letter. (He) has actively disobeyed federal law, and he is now encouraging other state elected officials to do so as well.”
The response from Hernandez and Kennedy also said Dean Young “either does not know what he is talking about or is being dishonest,” and went on to say Young “has proven himself willing to say anything to gain cheap political points.”
“Like Judge Moore, Mr. Young apparently is encouraging state officials to defy and disobey Judge Granade’s ruling,” the email reads. “Encouraging defiance of a lawful federal order is reckless and demonstrates a total lack of regard for the rule of law. Mr. Young and Judge Moore’s behavior and words demonstrate all that is wrong with politics in our state.”
Also among the protesters was David Gonnella, pastor of Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, who said the group gathered at the courthouse wasn’t addressing an issue of love, just an issue of what the definition of marriage is considered to be in Alabama.
“There’s not law in the world that can regulate who a person loves, that comes from someone’s heart,” he said. “What we’re talking about is the definition of marriage, which for 6,000 years of human history has held firm.”
He went on to say expanding that definition would “open up a can of worms” and pave the way for incestuous marriages and marriage to multiple partners.
Refering to the adoption of children by homosexual parents, which prompted the case Granade’s original ruling was centered on, Gonella said that was a different matter that dealt with “entrusting children to people.”
“The biblical view of homosexuality and lesbianism is that it’s an abomination, that’s what God’s word calls it. It’s against nature, and unseemly,” Gonnella said. “I wouldn’t want to turn children over to a situation like that, but I don’t want to turn children over to a couple of drunkards either for that matter.”
Moore’s Letter to Gov. Bentley
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