Suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief
Justice Roy Moore is arguing that his ruling ordering probate judges
not to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples was more
Moore ordered probate judges, who issue
marriage licenses in the state, to ignore a federal ruling 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.
In calling on the judges to ignore the
high court, Moore argued that they had a “ministerial duty” not
to issue such licenses.
In a 42-page brief filed with the Court
of the Judiciary – which is looking into complaints that Moore
should be removed from the bench – on Tuesday, Moore's attorneys
argued that he was merely informing judges that the Alabama Supreme
Court, which he helms, had yet to weigh in on a challenge to the
“[Moore] expressly disclaimed any
intent to usurp the authority of the Alabama Supreme Court to
determine the effect of Obergefell on those orders. For the
same reason, the Chief Justice did not counsel the probate judges to
disobey the federal injunction. In fact, he did not mention it,”
the lawyers wrote.
Moore is being represented by the
Christian conservative Florida-based Liberty Counsel, a vocal
opponent of LGBT rights, which also argues that the Court of the
Judiciary “is not a proper or adequate forum” for the charges.
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. Voters reinstated Moore in