Apr 26 2017

Sweet Home Alabama

Big wheels keep on turning, carry me home to see my kin.
Singing songs about the south-land, I miss ‘ole’ ‘bamy once again.
And I think it’s a sin, yes

Well I heard Mister Young sing about her. Well I heard old Neil put her down.
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don’t need him around anyhow

Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama. Lord, I’m coming home to you.

In Birmingham they love the Gov’nor, boo hoo ooo.
Now we all did what we could do.
Now Watergate does not bother me. Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama. Lord, I’m coming home to you.

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers and they’ve been known to pick a song or two.
Lord they get me off so much. They pick me up when I’m feeling blue.
Now how ’bout you?

Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama. Lord, I’m coming home to you.

Sweet home Alabama, oh sweet home, where the skies are so blue (and the Governor’s true)
Sweet home Alabama. Lord, I’m coming home to you, yeah yeh.

And on October 20, 1977 Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines did go home (if you believe in that sort of thing which, as an atheist, I don’t) and 6 other band members were seriously injured in a plane crash near Gillsburg, Mississippi.

Not that I would wish them ill, even with a song as racist as that one. Something to think about the next time you get all nostalgic about “Southern Rock”- listen to the damn lyrics. “We did all that we could do” to keep African Americans living in slavery and segregation. Yep, you sure did. And you lost, you traitors.

Not that anything has much changed, just the targets.

Alabama advances bill protecting adoption agencies that discriminate
by Zack Ford, Think Progress
April 26, 2017

On Monday night’s The Daily Show, Alabama’s first openly gay state lawmaker, Rep. Patricia Todd (D), boasted in a recorded interview, “We are the only southern state that has not passed anti-gay legislation since I’ve been in office.” She is no longer correct.

The Alabama House gave final approval Tuesday to HB 24, a bill that ensures that child-placement agencies can discriminate without any repercussion from the state. Specifically, the state can not refuse, revoke, or suspend the agency’s license or take any “enforcement action” against it if it refuses to make certain placements because of its religious convictions. In other words, refusing to serve same-sex couples, unmarried couples, or any other kind of potential parent for religious reasons is just fine.

HB 24 bears a significant resemblance to South Dakota’s similar “license to discriminate” for adoption agencies that passed earlier this year, with one major exception. As it wound through the legislature, Alabama’s bill was weakened by a provision specifying that the protections only apply if the agency receives no state funding. This means the legislation doesn’t require the state to fund discrimination. (South Dakota’s does.)

Wingo has never hidden the fact that he was motivated to file the bill because other states have had child-placement agencies shut down because of the arrival of marriage equality. Though he described them as being “forced to close their doors,” in every case where that happened, it was because the agency unilaterally decided to discriminate, which was either in violation of state nondiscrimination laws (not its marriage laws) or prompted the state to stop funding it. These agencies’ decisions were largely political. In Colorado, for example, Catholic Charities actually threatened to shut down if a 2012 civil unions bill passed, even though the bill the agency was opposing included an exemption that would have allowed it to discriminate. Alabama doesn’t have any LGBT nondiscrimination laws, but HB 24 nevertheless seems to fall short of Wingo’s goal.

Even with the state funding caveat limiting the scope of the bill, the possibility of any agency legally refusing a same-sex couple is still problematic. The Human Rights Campaign’s Eva Kendrick previously explained that while it’s true same-sex couples can generally choose secular agencies, the provision could still interfere when a same-sex couple wants to take in a child who is a relative but in the care of a faith-based agency. “The goal of out-of-home care is always reunification with the family of origin,” she said back when the bill was introduced, and if the next of kin is LGBT or a same-sex couple, the agency’s penchant for discrimination would result in a decision that is not in the best interest of the child.

And though Todd favored the change that limited the bill’s effect to agencies that don’t receive state funding, she still decried the general intent of the bill. “This bill obviously came about because same-sex marriage was approved,” she told AL.com Tuesday. “It’s based in a stereotype. And it’s wrong. And we shouldn’t discriminate and I will always fight that.”

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