So much has been happening in LGBT politics this past week that I think it’s time for a fabulous LGBT political news roundup. Why is it fabulous, you might ask? Because I’m writing it. This week, laws were made, laws were trashed and the notorious R.B.G expressed optimism about marriage equality.
First off, Alabama is still a mess, marriage equality-wise. Although U.S. District Justice Ginny Granade ruled Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, some of the state’s judges are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples while some aren’t. Surprisingly, this is technically legal.
Opponents of marriage equality argue that just because the marriage ban was overruled, it doesn’t necessarily allow same-sex marriages. I know, interesting logic. Additionally, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore asked (not ruled, but asked) all Alabama courts to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And now, here we are.
Depending which county you live in, you could either soon be happily married or woefully turned away by a judge this week. So a word to same-sex couples in Alabama: If you really want to get married, just move to the town over.
Another state it’s now unfortunate to be gay, transgender or queer in is Kansas. On Feb. 10, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, issued an executive order that nulled a previous 2007 executive order put in place by then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
His battle of executive orders started, as Brownback stated, to “ensure that state employees enjoy the same civil rights as all Kansans without creating additional ‘protected classes,’” according to the Los Angeles Times. Because the last thing the government wants to do is protect its citizens who are discriminated against. That’s not what America is about.
In a conflicting statement, Brownback elaborated that he only issued his executive order because the state legislature should be the branch that passes laws outlawing discrimination as it sees fit, not the executive branch. To review: Brownback issued an executive order to nullify an executive order because executive orders shouldn’t be made on just any issue. Solid.
Things aren’t looking any better southeast of Kansas either. As of Feb. 13, the Arkansas legislature is set to pass a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to LGBT people based on religious beliefs. That means Arkansas is another place I probably shouldn’t move to in the future (along with the aforementioned Kansas and Alabama).
At this point, I don’t know why legislatures keep passing discriminatory legislation. The fact is that people are people. Enacting the guise of religious freedom to infringe on a marginalized group of people is rude and disgusting. The rest of the country is moving ahead with equality (for the most part), while a few states are falling back. Get with the times.
To end on a happy note, the Supreme Court justice with the most fun name to say aloud, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said in an interview with Bloomberg News that she thinks Americans are ready for marriage equality. These words will come before a Supreme Court hearing on marriage equality by June. Maybe we’re not doomed as a nation after all. Leave it to Ginsburg to remind us that things are looking up for the LGBT community after all.