Amid Marriage Standoff, Alabama Lawmaker Threatens to Out Cheating Colleagues

Amid Marriage Standoff, Alabama Lawmaker Threatens to Out Cheating Colleagues

As Alabama's Republican leadership scrambles to delay implementation of Friday's federal ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, Alabama's first openly gay lawmaker is taking aim at her antigay colleagues who she believes are hypocritical. 

Rep. Patricia Todd, a Democrat representing Birmingham, is threatening to "out" legislators having extramarital affairs while opposing marriage equality as a matter of so-called family values, reports AL.com.

"Don't start throwing bricks at my window when yours is already cracked as well," Todd told the local website Monday, noting that she was "very upset" by comments the speaker of the House made about Friday's pro-equality ruling from U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade.  

In a Facebook post over the weekend, Todd responded to the ruling and subsequent reports that Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange plans to appeal the decision, while Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard called the ruling "outrageous," promising the state legislature will "continue defending the Christian conservative values that make Alabama a special place to live," according to AL.com. 

"This [is] a time where you find out who are accepting, loving people," Todd's Facebook post said. "I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about 'family values' when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have. I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet OUT." 

While Todd has yet to release the names of lawmakers she alleges to be having affairs outside of marriage, the state's Republican leadership is moving forward with the appeal of Judge Granade's decision. 

On Monday, Attorney General Strange asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to extend the two-week stay Granade placed on her ruling, while also formally appealing the decision, according to the Associated Press

But marriage equality opponents in Alabama will have to move quickly, as the judge who overturned the state's ban in a case (known as Searcy v. Strange) filed by a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their California marriage ruled in favor of another same-sex couple on Monday. 

Using the same reasoning she outlined in Friday's decision, Judge Granade ruled that James Strawser and John Humphrey should be allowed to marry in Alabama. Granade placed the same stay on this ruling as she did in the Searcy case, effectively putting the decision on hold until February 9, to give the state time to appeal and attempt to convince the 11th Circuit to extend the stay. 

The couple, who live in Mobile, told AL.com they were surprised but elated by the judge's decision in their case, filed without formal legal representation and known as Strawser v. Strange.

"I am just ecstatically pleased. We didn't realize it would be so soon and did not even think she would consider it," Humphrey, 51, told AL.com. "This is the Bible Belt for Christ sake."

Attorney General Strange promised to appeal Granade's latest ruling, though as Zack Ford at ThinkProgress notes, the state's likelihood of success upon appeal is dwindling, especially in light of Granade's latest ruling, which confirms that the U.S. Constitution requires Alabama not only to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states but also to issue licenses to such couples in Alabama. 

Granade's decision in the Strawser case actually addresses the scope of both her pro-equality rulings, rejecting a claim advanced by the Alabama Probate Judges Association that the decision applied only to the couple who filed suit. 

"Accordingly, the court hereby ORDERS that the Alabama Attorney General is prohibited from enforcing the Alabama laws which prohibit same-sex marriage," wrote Granade in Strawser. "This injunction binds the defendant and all his officers, agents, servants and employees, and others in active concert or participation with any of them, who would seek to enforce the marriage laws of Alabama which prohibit same-sex marriage."

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