2015 is already shaking up to be a challenging year for social justice.
Since the beginning of January, over 100 anti-abortion bills have been introduced in Congress, at least five trans women of color have been murdered, and Alabama has become the latest battleground for marriage equality.
Alabama Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murdock is threatening to strike down all marriages after a federal judge ruled on January 23, 2015 that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Conservative Justice Murdock is furious—adamantly stating he will deny any couple, same-sex or opposite-sex, a marriage license, making marriage a thing of the past in Alabama. Justice Murdock’s response to the ruling does, however, have some loose legal backing. He cites an Alabama provision which states a law may become void if it is enacted to “fix” a faulty law. However upset Justice Murdock is, he will ultimately need the state legislature’s approval in order to “legally” move forward with his anti-marriage plans. One (of the many) problem with Justice Murdock’s anti-marriage plan is the potential ripple effect his words may have on local courts, specifically those in more conservative parts of the state. As we saw in many Southern courts during the 19th and 20th centuries with Black Americans’ voting rights, local judges and officials will find excuses and loopholes in the law, preventing same-sex (and possibly even opposite-sex) couples from pursuing their Constitutional right to marry.
Nobody really knows what Alabama will do regarding same-sex marriage — nobody even knows if the Supreme Court ruling will be enforced by local courts, which, of course, are responsible for issuing marriage licenses. All we can hope for is good vibes and more happy marriages in Alabama.
As for Justice Murdock, I’ma let you finish — but it seems pretty clear that same-sex marriage is legal. Get over it.