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Chief Justice Roy Moore suspended for defying Supreme Court marriage ruling

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore
Photo credit:
huffingtonpost.com

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is facing permanent removal from office after instructing local judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Last year the Supreme Court ruled that marriage rights should be extended to same-sex couples, but earlier this year Moore instructed judges to defy that order.

“Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court,” he said in January, “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 January Moore issued an administrative order that judges need not issue same-sex marriage licenses citing conflicts from the SCOTUS ruling and upheld state LGBT marriage bans.

He said, "Confusion and uncertainty exist among the probate judges of this State as to the effect of Obergefell on the 'existing orders' "

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a complaint to the Judicial Inquiry Commission, who then performed their own investigation into the grievance in order to decide whether or not to have it heard by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

Moore could be tried by the Court of the Judiciary if a settlement cannot be reached.

SPLC President Richard Cohen feels that Moore should be removed from his position based on his actions.

"He is such an egomaniac and such a religious zealot that he thinks he can ignore court orders with impunity," he said. "For the sake of our state, he should be kicked out of office."

This isn’t the first time Moore has been in hot water with the government. In 2003, he refused to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments in front of the State Supreme Court building. He was therefore temporarily barred from office.

However Moore doesn’t seem affected by this latest reprimand from the Alabama Court of the Judiciary and is planning to fight, in his words, the LGBT agenda.

“The Judicial Inquiry Commission has no authority over the administrative orders of the chief justice of Alabama or the legal injunctions of the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses," Moore said. "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."