MONTGOMERY, Alabama >> Alabama’s only openly gay legislator is threatening to expose politicians’ extramarital affairs if they don’t stop criticizing gay marriage as immoral.
Rep. Patricia Todd said she was furious and disappointed by comments made after a federal judge struck down the state’s gay-marriage ban last week and affirmed it in a separate case Monday.
"I’m sick of the hypocrisy. If you start disparaging my community, and I know that you are not exactly the family values person that you put yourself out to be, well, then, beware," Todd, D-Birmingham, said.
U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade’s order, issued Friday, potentially makes Alabama the 37th state where gay marriage is legal. She put the order on hold for 14 days to let the state appeal. The state wants the ruling to remain on hold until the Supreme Court takes up the issue later this year. Todd has not identified by name anyone she is considering accusing.
Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard called Granade’s ruling outrageous and said Alabama would defend "the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live." Todd said that was one of many statements that upset her, although she hasn’t accused Hubbard.
Hubbard said he considered Todd a friend and was sorry he upset her, but they have a "fundamental disagreement on allowing same-sex marriages in Alabama." Hubbard later took down his statement from social media because, his spokeswoman said, she was constantly removing profane responses from people on both sides of the debate.
Todd was elected in 2006 to the Alabama House of Representatives, a body that passed the gay-marriage bans and where a legislator in 2004 proposed banning any textbooks and public school library books that suggested homosexuality was acceptable. Todd said she has been treated cordially through the years, but became fed up with the recent comments.
"It’s again making Alabama look stupid, but we can’t help ourselves," Todd said.
Todd made her threat to reveal the powerful philanderers of Alabama on Facebook. She has yet to follow through, and has acknowledged that to do so risked slander.
"It was an attempt to say, ‘Hold your tongue and speak about the issues and not the emotional response you are trying to incite in people. And how dare you say that we are not family,’" Todd said.
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on Tuesday urged state probate judges not to give marriage licenses to gay couples if the district judge’s stay expires.
In a letter Tuesday to Gov. Robert Bentley, Moore denounced Granade’s decisions as judicial tyranny and said he was dismayed that some probate judges indicated they would give licenses to gay couples if the stay is lifted.
He said the rulings were nonbinding on Alabama courts and said he would advise probate judges that giving marriage licenses to same-sex couples would violate "the laws and Constitution of Alabama."
Lifting the ban could lead to "marriages between multiple groups of people, whether they be men or women, or marriages within a family — incest," he said. "We’ve got a lot of things that could occur because of this."
Moore was removed as chief justice in 2003 when he ignored a court order to remove a Ten Commandment monument from the state judicial building. He was re-elected in 2012.
Richard Cohen, the head of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, called Moore’s letter "outrageous."
"Once before he defied a federal court and used his religion to do it. Looks like he’s doing it again. He brings dishonor and shame to the court," Cohen said.