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WATCH: Jon Stewart, Ted Olson Compare Alabama Marriage Fight to 1960s Selma

WATCH: Jon Stewart, Ted Olson Compare Alabama Marriage Fight to 1960s Selma

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Is hate-fueled history repeating itself in the Cotton State?

dnlreynolds

Talking heads have been quick to point out that antiminority history may be repeating itself in Alabama.

Both Ted Olson and Jon Stewart have drawn comparisons between the Selma voting rights marches in the 1960s and the modern-day fight for marriage equality in the Heart of Dixie.

In both scenarios, Alabama state officials used obstructionist tactics to defy federal law, in order to deny rights to a minority group.

In the 1960s, Gov. George Wallace employed a variety of means to keep African-Americans from peacefully demonstrating for their right to vote. Similiarly, state Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered probate judges this week not to grant marriage licenses from same-sex couples, in defiance of a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

"It does bring up images of Selma, Ala., and George Wallace denying rights to African-American citizens to go to school or cross a bridge and enter a parade," Olson, who served as U.S. solicitor general under President George W. Bush and as counsel for the plaintiffs in the case that struck down California's Proposition 8, said on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Stewart also compared the events on The Daily Show. A mock poster of a sequel to Selma, an Oscar-nominated film that depicts the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights marches, illustrated the segment.

With the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Alabama Gov. George Bentley also expressed his will to see the issue "worked out through the proper legal channels," rather than the activist approach adopted by Moore.

"I don't want Alabama to be seen as it was 50 years ago when a federal law was defied. I'm not going to do that," he told the Associated Press. "I'm trying to move this state forward."

Watch the segments below.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.