Alabama – the armpit of the union
My wife, if you’ve read this blog over time, is from Alabama; she’s actually there now visiting her wingnut family. She’s completely embarrassed by her home state — obviously as a lesbian she knew she would have to escape to be able to live a decent life. Today she called me to tell me how frightening it was driving around and seeing all these “Put Jesus back in the USA signs” everywhere (this is Birmingham). She lost count of the BC04 stickers on the backs of Lexus SUVs. No KE04 sticker sitings yet. I don’t expect her to see many.
I posted earlier on the unhinged wingnut Representative Gerald Allen announcing a bill in which he has proposed to remove any books containing homosexual material from any establishment receiving state funding. And of course this is the state that just in 1999 repealed its anti-miscegenation laws:
Alabama became the last state in the union to formally lift its ban on interracial marriage, a law that has been unenforceable since 1967. There are an estimated 1,600 interracial couples on Alabama, and the state is 26 percent black. Amendment 2, as the proposal to lift the ban was known, passed by a 60-40 percent vote, indicating that many Alabama residents, perhaps a majority of whites, favor keeping the ban. The only organized opposition to removing the ban came from the Southern Party of Alabama, a new political party founded in 1999 to establish the South as an independent nation, separate from the United States.
Alabama couldn’t manage to remove Jim-Crow era segregation language this year either. The folks there are so taxophobic that they refuse to guarantee an education to their already-undereducated population. It’s like you don’t know where to begin with Alabama.
At least NC realized that instead of fixating on Jim Crow, agriculture and textiles, it had to reinvent itself and focus on education, technology and quality of life that would attract people from all over to move there are create an economic engine. Alabama has remained culturally insulated and it shows, over and over. That’s sad. I don’t know what to suggest to fix the problem for gay folks living in ‘Bama, other than finding another state to live in.