Tags: Gay Marriage | alabama | judge | defends | gay marriage | memo

Suspended Alabama Judge Defends Memo Refuting Gay Marriage

Image: Suspended Alabama Judge Defends Memo Refuting Gay Marriage
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016 04:18 PM

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is formally defending a memo he wrote on gay marriage which led to his suspension and may derail his career.

Moore claims he was only trying to answer questions his colleagues on the bench were afraid to deal with, NBC News reports.

If Alabama's Court of the Judiciary determines that Moore violated judicial ethics, he could be removed from office as the state's top jurist.

The allegation stems from a memo Moore wrote in January stating that an Alabama Supreme Court injunction preventing same-sex marriages retained "full force and effect" even though a federal judge had ordered the state to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell ruling in June 2015, which made gay marriage legal nationwide.

Moore was suspended in May after a state judicial oversight body complained that he had "flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority" by calling for probate judges to ignore the Supreme Court's ruling, according to The New York Times.

"I believe it is time for us to make a decision in this case, one way or the other: to acquiesce in Obergefell and retreat from our March orders or to reject Obergefell and maintain our orders in place," Moore wrote to the state high court justices in September 2015. He claimed it would be "very unfair" to leave "probate judges of this state to bear the stress of this battle alone with no guidance from us."

"Moore never ordered the probate judges to disregard the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage opinion, but that is the slanderous narrative of the JIC. The JIC has no case and never should have filed the baseless charge," Mat Staver, Moore's attorney, said in a statement Wednesday.

"For the good of the state he should be kicked out of office," Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, told the Times. He went on to say that Moore "has disgraced his office for far too long."

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Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is formally defending a memo he wrote on gay marriage which led to his suspension and may derail his career.
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2016-18-27
Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016 04:18 PM
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