Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on
Friday was charged with violating judicial ethics related to his
opposition to marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.
After a federal judge in Mobile last
year struck down Alabama's marriage ban, Moore ordered probate judges
to ignore the ruling and refuse to issue licenses to gay couples.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
filed complains against Moore with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry
Commission, which on Friday forwarded charges to the Alabama Court of
Moore is suspended with pay from his
position until the court hands down a decision.
Moore also argued that Alabama's ban
remained in effect after the Supreme Court's June, 2015 finding that
gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.
“Right now there's an injunction by
the Alabama Supreme Court that forbids the issuance of same-sex
marriage licenses,” Moore said at the time. “That has not been
overruled by the United States Supreme Court.”
SPLC President Richard Cohen said that
Moore should be removed from office.
“He is such an egomaniac and such a
religious zealot that he thinks he can ignore court orders with
impunity,” Cohen said. “For the sake of our state, he should be
kicked out of office.”
Moore defended his actions on Friday,
that the commission has no authority over “the legal injunctions of
the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing
same-sex marriage licenses.”
“The Judicial Inquiry Commission has
chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed
transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as
well as organizations that support their agenda,” Moore added.
Moore has also spoken out publicly
against marriage equality, claiming that such unions go
against God, will lead
to incest, polygamy and child
abuse, and will “destroy”
the United States.
Moore was ousted from the bench in 2003
for refusing to remove from public property a monument of the Ten
Commandments which he had commissioned.