Alabama Judge Roy Moore Suspended for Refusal to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks to the congregation of Kimberly Church of God, Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Kimberley, Ala. Moore lashed out at the U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, saying said the decision was against the laws of nature. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy S. Moore is back in the news.

Chief Justice Moore became a conservative hero in 2003 when he refused to remove a 2-ton monument of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the state judicial building. Alabama’s State Judicial Committee ejected him from his position as a chief justice over his refusal to comply with the federal order.

He won reelection to that office nine years later.

From the NYTimes.com:

The current complaint concerns Chief Justice Moore’s actions after federal court decisions regarding same-sex marriage. Last spring, he directed probate judges in Alabama not to abide by a Federal District Court’s order striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, holding that issuing licenses to same-sex couples would violate the Alabama Constitution.

In January, six months after the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right, Chief Justice Moore, in an administrative order, instructed the state’s probate judges that they had a “ministerial duty” to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Nearly all of the probate judges in the state have been issuing licenses to same-sex couples, though a few have stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.

The same commission that removed him from his position in 2003 are now charging him with abusing his authority and he has been suspended, as he awaits a hearing with Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary.

“We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail,” Chief Justice Moore said in a statement, saying that the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which filed the complaint, had no authority over the charges at issue.

Referring to a transgender activist in Alabama, Chief Justice Moore said the commission had “chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which support their agenda.”

Moore has argued that the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage only applies to the four states involved in the gay marriage cases that were brought before the Supreme Court and not Alabama.

Chief Justice Moore became an icon in the fight for religious freedom in 2003 and his unyielding stance on matters that directly involve faith and principle in the legal realm are unlikely to change due to this latest challenge