The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Saturday applauded the suspension of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore over his attempt to block the start of marriage equality in Alabama.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed complains against Moore with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, which took action Friday, suspending Moore with pay from his position until a court decides whether he should be removed from office.

“Roy Moore is an embarrassment to the state of Alabama,” said HRC Alabama State Manager Eva Walton Kendrick. “He has repeatedly used his authority to discriminate against LGBT people and their families, and to defy federal marriage equality rulings. Moore's suspension is welcome news, and we expect the Ethics Commission will permanently throw him out of office after reviewing his pattern of intentionally flouting the laws he vowed to uphold.”

Moore ordered probate judges, who issue marriage licenses in the state, to ignore the federal ruling last year that struck down Alabama's marriage ban. After the Supreme Court found that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, Moore argued that the ruling did not apply to Alabama.

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.

In a statement, Moore said he will fight the charges.

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.