Anti-LGBT Rally in Montgomery Draws Strong Rhetoric and the League of the South

Sanctity of Marriage-Alabama held another rally against marriage equality this past Saturday on the steps of the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery.

The rally featured several speakers who not only decried the January federal court ruling that struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage, but also homosexuality in general. This is the second rally the group has held this month (the first was Feb. 7) and the second time that theocrat John Eidsmoe was a speaker. He was the keynote at the first.

Eidsmoe is listed as “senior counsel and resident scholar” at the Foundation for Moral Law (FML) a Montgomery-based organization founded in 2002. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was president of the FML until he stepped down in 2013 to run for the position he now holds. His wife, Kayla Moore, is currently the president.

Eidsmoe also has notable ties. In 2005, he addressed the national conference of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens. He is a favorite of the neo-Confederate League of the South, which calls for a society run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate African Americans and other minorities.

Moore, who received myriad accolades at the second rally as well as the first, is at the center of a controversy that erupted after U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional in January. Moore has stated publicly that Alabama judges need not honor the ruling and warned of a “confrontation” with the federal courts. The Southern Poverty Law Center has since filed an ethics complaint against Moore, arguing that he has committed ethical violations and encouraged lawlessness by attempting to assemble state officials and judges to oppose the federal judiciary.

In keeping with Moore’s theme, Eidsmoe claimed that state courts “are not bound by federal district and circuit court opinions.” But he also read, aloud, the beginning of the 1987 biting satirical essay “The Homosexual Manifesto,” which is used by anti-LGBT groups to “prove” the existence of a “gay agenda” and to link gay men to pedophilia. The manifesto was written under the name “Michael Swift,” possibly a pen name and an homage to Jonathan Swift, who also wrote satire. The first line, which anti-LGBT groups ignore, is, “This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.”

After reading the short passage, Eidsmoe exhorted the crowd to Google the essay to read it for themselves.

Other speakers included Alabama Republican state representative Will Ainsworth, who linked same-sex marriage to polygamy when he said, “Allowing the whims of our pop culture to redefine marriage is a slippery slope that could lead to polygamy. Where does the definition stop? Think about that.” He then quoted Isaiah 5:20, which states, in part, “woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.”

Pastor Aaron Motley of Montgomery’s Miracle Deliverance Temple of Christ had stronger words, linking homosexuality to perversion when he claimed that it’s an “insult” to compare LGBT rights to the civil rights movement because “one seeks to protect our rights as human beings under the U.S. Constitution and moral laws and the other seeks the acceptance of a perverted lifestyle.” He further claimed that the “gay agenda is designed to undermine all that the civil rights movement set out to do.”

The crowd, which appeared to be around 200 people (some estimates are higher),included members or supporters of the League of the South, some of whom carried flags that featured a red cross with white stars on a blue background, which looks a lot like the 3rd Kentucky Mounted Infantry Regiment flag, used also as a battle flag for Confederate general John Breckinridge’s division, though the cross also carries religious symbolism.

This isn’t the first time the League has expanded its traditional, secessionist mission to protest same-sex marriage. Last year, members gathered outside the SPLC offices and also in Richmond, Virginia.