Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Suspended Because He Won’t Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks to the media during a news conference in Montgomery
AP/Brynn Anderson

Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore is being suspended without pay for the duration of his term, because he refuses to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Moore, 69, says political corruption led to his suspension, reports CBN.

“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,” Moore said.

In a video, Moore spoke to a crowd outside the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery on August 8 after his misconduct hearing:

In January, Moore issued an administrative order that prohibited probate courts in Alabama from granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore said his order clarified that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges – which struck down laws banning same-sex marriage in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee – did not automatically indicate the same for Alabama.

Moore wrote:

Many probate judges are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in accordance with Obergefell; others are issuing marriage licenses only to couples of the opposite gender or have ceased issuing all marriage licenses. 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.

In April of 2015, the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) awarded Moore the “Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage” Award for maintaining his stand on marriage between one man and one woman.

“Justice Moore is an example for all of us,” said CAAP president Rev. William Owens. “By making a principled and persuasive stand for marriage, Justice Moore has singled himself out as someone who is ready to defend our most cherished values and help lead this new civil rights movement.”

“By his words and action, he has helped preserve marriage, the family, justice, and the spirit of democracy,” Owens added.

Owens and his coalition had been highly critical of attempts by both President Obama and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to portray the same-sex marriage movement as another civil rights campaign.

In February of 2015, Moore sent Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley a letter, in which he referred to federal court rulings on same-sex marriage as “judicial tyranny.” He added that the Constitution does not give the federal government the power to “redefine marriage.”

In 2003, UPI reported Moore was removed as chief justice for defying a federal court order banning a large Ten Commandments monument outside the state Supreme Court building.

“Justice Moore is intoxicated by his own sense of self-righteousness,” said far-left Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen. “He doesn’t seem to understand that we’re a nation of laws, not of men.”

Though Moore – whose term ends in 2019 – will be unable to run again due to age restrictions, is suggesting that the suspension may likely be a political win for him for a potential gubernatorial bid.

According to

Moore, the now suspended Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, was served the penalty by the court for what it described as his defiance in ordering probate judges not to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples even after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.

By being suspended, Moore can say that he stuck to his convictions – a quality that appeals to voters in a political climate that favors authenticity over establishment politicians. And by being once again thrust into the national spotlight, Moore’s already sky-high name recognition will only grow.

“This could be the beginning of the gubernatorial 2018 race,” said political science professor Natalie Davis of Birmingham-Southern College. “If you’re looking for the elected official or political figure in the state who has the most favorable ratings, it’s Roy Moore. So he starts off even with this hanging over him in a pretty good position if he seeks the governorship.”

A poll commissioned by the Alabama Forestry Association and conducted in July found that Moore was most favored of 10 possible candidates for governor by 600 likely GOP primary voters. He received 28.2 percent of support, while Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange received18.6 percent. The remainder of the candidates trailed substantially, and more than 23 percent of those surveyed were undecided.

“He has, in politics what we like to call universal ‘name ID,'” said the Forestry Association’s director of political affairs Bill Harris. “He has good favorable, and high negatives. I think with Judge Moore, you either like him or you don’t like him.”


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