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Another brave ally speaks out — in Alabama

Kathy @ Birmingham Blues pointed me to an editorial in the Decatur Daily by a highly-regarded pastor in Alabama, James L. Evans of Auburn First Baptist Church. She says that he is “a wonderful progressive Baptist pastor who has statewide readership. He has been an ally to the LGBT community for a long time, and he gets the attention of the moderate straight community.”

He definitely bucks the trend of the bible beaters there by telling voters in the state, who are looking at gays being dragged out as the boogeyman by the Republicans yet again (there’s a marriage amendment on the ballot in June), to look at the game that Frist and Roy Moore are playing.

Senate Majority leader Bill Frist recently announced on the floor of Senate that he was once again calling for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. His reference is to the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment brought to the floor during the last political season.

The reason it’s back again, Frist explains, is out of fear that some state may take action to legalize gay marriage, and because of Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, the so-called “full faith and credit” clause, marriages in one state are legal in all states.

Alabama gubernatorial candidate Roy Moore also is trumpeting the need for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Even though there is already a law that prohibits same-sex marriage in Alabama, Moore believes it is not enough. Alabama needs a hedge against what other states might do.

Curiously, both Frist and Moore’s initiatives will reach their climax around the first of June. The significance for Alabama is obvious. The Republican primary is June 6. Moore has stated publicly that the gay marriage ban will attract concerned Christian voters, many of whom also may support his candidacy.

And Evans brings home the lunacy of the whole matter in terms that the average, God-fearing voter can understand.

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.

Democrats can learn from Evans when combatting the Repugs ready to toss down the gay card and playing pious. (should Dems ever bother to reframe the issue — they are so timid it’s pathetic).

You can thank Pastor Evans for speaking out on a tough subject to a tough crowd: faithmatters@mindspring.com.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding