2/28/2006

A Tale of Two Stories in Alabama

Similar topics but at different ends of the spectrum...

This highlights, I think, the diametically opposed world's we now exist in. On one end, you have extremist right-wing religiopoliticians whipping their red meat base into a frenzy over the scary gay couple they've never met wanting to get married. On the other end, you have the results of that fear culminating in the death of a gay man and a weak sentencing of his killer because he was able to use "the gay panic" defense.

I would say "only in Alabama," but I don't think that's so anymore. It just so happens these stories DO come out of Alabama.

James L. Evans of Auburn First Baptist Church bravely steps into the shoes of his predecessors of civil rights causes. He is highly-regarded and makes no bones about the negative politics and underhanded use of religion to gain political points.

Pam's House Blend has an excellent article linking the Decatur Daily about Rev. Evans.

In Alabama, the last thing we need to worry about is a surge of gay couples flooding the courthouse with marriage requests. In Alabama, we need to worry about the future of our public school system. We need to be concerned about the status of our healthcare safety net for children and senior adults. We need to be worried about an unfair tax structure and grossly ineffective constitution.

We have some serious issues before us here in Alabama, but gay marriage is not one of them. It is a wedge issue, a whip designed not to inspire voters to vote for better government, but to frighten voters into electing a savior.

And the last time I checked, that job was already taken.

Pam also pulls a report out of Birmingham of 20-year-old Raymond Carlisle who killed adjunct professor of sociology at Birmingham Southern College, Sammie Speigner III, and then claimed the "gay panic" defense saying he was attacked by Speigner. Of course, considering Speigner is dead, we'll never know for sure.

Carlisle says the attack left him "traumatized." Yes, he was so traumatized that after he killed Speigner he "stole the professor's credit card to buy beer, cigarettes and gasoline later in the day while joyriding with friends. Even worse, he rented the car to another friend and was finally arrested while smoking dope inside the car, which he had upfitted with a new tag and freshly tinted windows."

For this, he could get paroled in 10 years. No problem, it's not like a gay man's life means anything...at least, not in Alabama.

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