(This was a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t get a chance to post about it then, but I can’t start this blog without mentioning my first rally of the year.)
We didn’t even make it one week into 2016 before Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore gave us something to protest. On January 6, he issued an order stating the state’s probate judges “have a ministerial duty” not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision last year affirming a nationwide right to marriage equality.
I immediately got on the phone with fellow activist Mike Walker and we started organizing. Last year Mike and I, along with six other local humanists, founded Montgomery Humanists, an official chapter of the American Humanist Association. Our goal was to provide a unified voice and a means of pushing back against religious overreach. Roy Moore’s order went against everything we stood for, and we had to speak up.
Over the next five days we worked with Equality Wiregrass, HRC Alabama, and several progressive individuals to organize a gathering on the Supreme Court steps. We had notaries on site to notarize judicial complaint forms, and I made a giant urn of coffee to for our humanist hospitality table.
It was freezing, but we still had an amazing turnout. Among the speakers were Brett Jones, the first openly gay US Navy Seal, Paul Hard, plaintiff in an ongoing battle to have his marriage recognized by Alabama courts after his husband was tragically killed in a car accident, Rev. Lynn Hopkins, Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Montgomery, and Rev. Fred Hammond, Minister of the UU Fellowship of Tuscaloosa.
Our message was clear:
- Roy Moore’s personal beliefs have no place in the judicial process.
- Roy Moore has no authority to issue an order that defies the SCOTUS ruling, which granted all Americans the right to marry. We refuse to allow Roy Moore to take away rights from Alabamians that have been granted to us as Americans.
My husband, Nick Morgan-Moore, emceed the rally with Ambrosia Starling, who was gorgeous in drag. They both did an amazing job of keeping the crowd pumped.
I think the best thing was that we defied Roy Moore’s order right there on the Supreme Court steps when Rev. Fred Hammond performed a same sex wedding ceremony after the rally, proving Roy Moore really has no power to stop marriage equality.
A friend of mine was kind enough to record my short speech for me. You can watch it here.
As always, Christiane Robinson was there to take photos for us. Check out her Facebook Page for more coverage of Alabama’s fight for marriage equality.