Alabama Supreme Court chief justice suspended for efforts to block gay marriage

By Marilyn Malara  |  May 7, 2016 at 9:09 AM
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MONTGOMERY, Ala., May 7 (UPI) -- Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended and charged with ethics violations for trying to undermine a federal law legalizing gay marriage.

Moore, for the second time in his career, will face the charges before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary and the possibility of permanent removal from office. A state judicial oversight commission filed the complaint Friday, claiming abuse of power, VOA reported.

Moore, re-elected in 2012 after being suspended from his position in 2003, is said to have ordered county probate judges -- who issue marriage licenses -- to disobey the 2015 federal court ruling initiating marriage equality.

Moore reportedly worked to maintain Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage despite a federal judge's ruling overturning the ban and the Supreme Court ruling, which took place in 2015.

Moore has claimed before the legalization of gay marriage will "literally cause the destruction of our nation," adding that those in favor of marriage equality want to "see this country destroyed."

A complaint from the Southern Poverty Law Center brought Moore's actions to light, prompting an investigation and subsequent charges, AL.com reported.

SPLC president Richard Cohen in a statement Friday claimed Moore "has disgraced his office for far too long."

"He's such a religious zealot, such an egomaniac that he thinks he doesn't have to follow federal court rulings he disagrees with. For the good of the state, he should be kicked out of office," Cohen said.

Moore was ejected from his chief justice position once before after refusing to remove an oversized monument of the Bible's Ten Commandments from the judicial building's grounds. Nine years after his removal, he was re-elected to the chief justice position.

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