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7/1/2008 - July 2008 SLI Newsletter

July 2008

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We have enjoyed our breather after the regular session of the Legislature. The Legislature did go back into special session and passed the education budget and some other important non-controversial bills. There were no gambling or other troublesome bills introduced.

In a general session of the Legislature, any bill may be introduced and considered by the respective bodies of the Senate and House. However, in a special session, the Governor makes a “call” and limits the session to only the things in the call. Otherwise, it would take a two-thirds vote to bring up another matter. That would not be possible in the deadlocked condition of the Alabama Legislature.

Perhaps, we should just have a series of special sessions, each called to include only a limited number of issues. At the end of the year, we could have one last special session for gambling and the legislators could stay there as long as they want to and talk about it, and the rest of us would not have to worry about whether the state’s business would be done. Well, seriously, something should be done, but we cannot count on the Legislature to do it.

As you know, the attempt to amend the Alabama Hate Crimes Law to include sexual orientation failed in the Legislature this year. Fortunately, Alabama has not seen much homosexual political or legal activity. But, around the nation, initiatives to legalize homosexual activities continue. In Colorado, a sexual discrimination law has been passed. It is a broad “public accommodations” type law, meaning that in the public square, literature, speech, services, and other activities must not mention or be based on sexual orientation. It is expected churches must confine teaching, preaching or comments to within the four walls of the church. Hard to believe. But, it is true.

Same sex marriage is another vehicle of choice. If it is legal, all other laws must change. That is why there is this constant push to legalize same sex marriage in all of the states. This month’s Educational Update examines this aspect, recent developments, and our own involvement in this issue.

Remember, we are private practice attorneys who get paid little for this work and rarely get paid fees. Summer is a bad time for funds that mainly help pay our overhead and expenses so that we can continue to provide our service. We ask you to help us, so that we can help others. We are grateful for your support.

Yours very truly,

A. Eric Johnston

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