County Commissioners respond to Allen’s statement

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pike County commissioners say the probate judge was out of line on Monday when he publicly declared their lack of action on a budgetary request as their support for same-sex marriage.

After having his request to relocate funds within his office’s budget tabled for further discussion, Probate Judge Wes Allen voiced his disapproval of the Pike County Commissions’ actions, saying the county’s lack of action of his request showed commissioners’ support for same-sex marriages and was counter to the Christian values and principles the people they represent expect.

“I sincerely believe the decision that Commissioners (Joey) Jackson, (Charlie) Harris, (Homer) Wright and (Ray) Goodson made tonight to support bringing gay marriage to our county courthouse is 100 percent counter to the Christian values and principles of the people they were elected to represent,” Allen said. “April 13, 2015 will go down as a sad day in the history of our community.”

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However, in a statement released on Tuesday by County Administrator Harry Sanders on behalf of Jackson, Harris, Wright and Goodson, commissioners said they felt disrespected by Allen’s comments.

“We find it very regrettable that our Probate Judge, Wes Allen, has chosen to take the rash action of accusing us of not representing our constituents and jumping to the conclusion that by our action that we somehow are now proponents of gay marriage,” the statement reads.

Commissioners also further explained in the release their stance on the situation stating they had denied to suspend the rules to vote on Allen’s request not necessarily denied Allen’s request altogether.

“The only action taken on Monday night was to deny a suspension of the rules to vote on his budget amendment request,” the statement continues. “We take financial matters very seriously. This measure was brought to us at the last minute and without any forewarning. The request remains on our agenda and will be voted on at our next Commission meeting, after we have had ample time to consider the request.”

Jackson on Tuesday explained commission’s intent of securing legal counsel before allowing Allen to move around funds within his own budget.

“What Judge (Wes) Allen said about us, he didn’t have the right to say that,” Jackson said. “We didn’t vote on anything, we just stopped the suspension of the rules until we got legal counsel on it. I told Judge Allen personally, I agree with him on the same-sex marriage situation. Judge Roy Moore wanted people of Alabama to get married. He wants men and women to get married. The only people having judgment on that right now is Mobile County.”

At this time, Jackson said the counsel had sent Allen’s request to the county’s attorney Allen Jones and the request would be moved into current business for the commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting, which will take place Tuesday, April 28.