State Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, Ala.

An Alabama lawmaker reportedly is offering $5,000 to anyone who can show him proof from the Bible indicating marriage is between a man and a woman.

The amount was increased by more than seven-fold by state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, after he originally took to the House floor this week to declare, “I’ve got $700 here, and I will give anyone this $700 if they come up and show me in this Bible where it says that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

The announcement came amid debate over a constitutional amendment on same-sex marriages in the Cotton State.

Calls reportedly have been flooding into the switchboard at the House of Representatives.

Ernestine Crowell, who answers the phones, told WFSA-TV one caller even delivered her proof in person.

“A lady brought him a Bible with everything marked in there,” she told the station.

Crowell met Holmes in the lobby of the legislature, saying, “I do have something for you. This was left by a lady today for you. It’s a Bible. … And, [she] marked all the places in here.”

One portion read to him was instructions on marriage from the first book of Corinthians.

“But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman should have her own husband.” [I Cor 7:2]

Holmes responded quickly, according to the station, saying, “OK, but what that says [is] … if two people should get married and if they are of the same sex then he becomes his wife and he’s the husband.”

A WorldNetDaily search of the King James translation of the Bible turned up 54 verses that include the words man and wife.

A section of three verses in the Gospel of Mark mentions both sexes in a quote from Jesus Christ: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. [Mark 10:6-8]

An Old Testament verse condemning intercourse between members of the same sex is often quoted by Christians in their opposition to same-sex marriages:

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” [Leviticus 20:13]

“Anybody could have any interpretation they want of the Bible,” Holmes told the Montgomery Advertiser.

Same-sex marriages already are prohibited in Alabama, but the proposed legislation looks to keep judges from overruling that law.

The House bill includes provisions stating:

  • Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting this unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state.

  • The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or is alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any other jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued.

  • A union replicating marriage of or between persons of the same sex in any other jurisdiction shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this state and would not be recognized by this state as a marriage.

    In his opposition to the measure, Holmes told WAFF-TV in Huntsville, “If these people connected with the Christian Coalition and these right-wing religious fanatics, if they are not stopped now, your children, your grandchildren will hang their heads in shame.”

    The state Senate already voted 35-0 approving the constitutional amendment. House members approved a similar measure 85-7. The House or Senate needs to pass the other chamber’s version before Alabama voters get their direct say in a statewide referendum.

    Howard Bayless of the homosexual-rights group Equality Alabama is blasting the effort as “mean spirited and intolerant,” telling the Associated Press homosexuals in Alabama are being treated like blacks were in the 1950s and 1960s.

    “The politicians now are using the ‘Q’ word like the politicians of the past used the ‘N’ word,” Bayless said.

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