Alabama’s Chief Justice, who was indefinitely suspended by an ethics panel over an illegal crusade against gay weddings, has fumed that “radical homosexuals” were to blame.
After the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of equal marriage last summer, Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore tried to disregard the rulings – issuing a number of spurious judicial orders in a brazen attempt to re-ban gay weddings.
He declared the Supreme Court rulings “doesn’t apply” in Alabama due to state anti-gay laws, and ordered probate judges to enforce a gay marriage ban – but soon learned the hard way you can’t just ignore the highest court in America.
The Judicial Inquiry Commission launched action against him for his string of illegal orders, alleging that he “flagrantly disregarding and abusing his authority” in his crusade against gay weddings.
Last month the nine-member Court of the Judiciary found Moore unanimously guilty of all six charges brought against him, suspending the elected judge without pay until the end of his current term in 2018.
But Moore, who was also previously removed from office over ethics violations in 2003, is appealing against the decision.
In a statement, he blamed “radical homosexuals” for the decision, which was taken by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and Court of the Judiciary.
He said: “This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda.”
His personally appalling view of LGBT people – claiming previously that gay equality is “like toying with dynamite” – actually had no bearing in the case, which was centred on his illegal rulings.
Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary insists:”This court emphasises that this case is concerned only with alleged violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.”
Moore’s lawyer Mat Staver, who also represents Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, continues to insist that the judge did not try to re-ban gay weddings, but it is a matter of indisputable fact and public record that he did.
Following the SCOTUS ruling, Moore wrote in an order: “IT IS ORDERED AND DIRECTED THAT: Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”