Alabama Chief Justice who illegally blocked gay weddings fights sacking
Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore is appealing against his indefinite suspension – after an ethics panel found he broke the law via his crusade against gay weddings.
After the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of equal marriage last summer, Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore tried to actively disregard the rulings – issuing a number of spurious judicial orders to officials 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, suspended the elected judge without pay from his role until the end of his current term in 2018.
In 2018, he will be unable to stand for re-election for the office of Supreme Court justice again in Alabama as he will be past the office’s age restriction.
But Moore, who was also previously removed from office over ethics violations in 2003, is appealing against the decision.
His lawyer Mat Staver, who also represents Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, continues to insist that Moore did not try to re-ban gay weddings, 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.”
Staver whinged: “Liberty Counsel and the Chief Justice have appealed this case to the Alabama Supreme Court.
“These baseless charges should be dismissed and the Chief Justice should be reinstated.
“To suspend Chief Justice Moore for the duration of his term is a miscarriage of justice and the same as removal. The COJ lacked the unanimous votes to remove the Chief, so the majority instead chose to ignore the law and the rules. We will continue the fight for justice to prevail in this case.”
Eva Kendrick, state manager for the Human Rights Campaign, Alabama, said: “Roy Moore has flagrantly and willfully attempted to block marriage equality at every turn in Alabama, using his position of power to push a personal, radically anti-LGBTQ agenda.
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“We are thrilled that justice has been done today and he will no longer be able to use the bench to discriminate against people he had taken an oath to to protect.
“Roy Moore’s bigoted rhetoric and unethical actions harmed LGBTQ Alabamians and emboldened those who would seek to hurt us further.
“We hope this is a turning point for our state. We must focus on electing politicians and judges who will move us forward, not backward.”
Moore has never tried to deny the homophobia at the root of his actions.
Last year he said: “They’re toying with something that’s like dynamite, that will destroy our country. I think eventually, over a period of time, it will.
“It definitely will, because the gender, the homosexual movement, is to force acceptance of this on everybody.”