Ala. 'Ten Commandments' Judge: Marriage Equality Will Destroy Constitution

Roy Moore, who once gained fame but lost his judicial position over a Ten Commandments monument, wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage — an idea that's gone nowhere before.

BY Trudy Ring

February 11 2014 7:45 PM ET

Justice Roy Moore

Same-sex marriage not only violates the U.S. Constitution but threatens to destroy it, claims a famously far-right Alabama jurist who wants to take yet another stab at amending the document to prevent legal recognition of such unions.

Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore has launched an online petition calling for an amendment stating, “Nothing in this Constitution or in the constitution or laws of any state shall define or shall be construed to define marriage except as the union of one man and one woman, and no other union shall be recognized with the legal incidents thereof within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Several members of Congress have pushed for similar amendments, and former president George W. Bush supported such a move, but nothing came of their efforts.

“It’s a travesty,” Moore said of court rulings for marriage equality during a Monday interview with right-wing news site World Net Daily. “The courts are exercising wrongful authority over this country.”

He continued, “If marriage falls, the institution of family upon which it is based falls.” If that happens, he said, “We no longer have a Constitution. We have a government of individual men who have the power to decide what the Constitution means.”

Moore’s position is increasingly becoming a minority one, given the plethora of recent court rulings seeing justification for marriage equality in the Constitution, plus several states adopting pro-equality legislation. But he has a history of fringe stances.

He made headlines for commissioning a Ten Commandments monument for the Alabama State Judicial Building in 2001, during his first stint as chief justice of the state’s highest court. After a federal court ruled that the monument amounted to an unlawful establishment of religion by a governmental body, Moore was ordered to remove it; he refused and ended up being removed from office in 2003. Voters returned him to the chief justice position in 2012.

In his initial term as chief justice, one of the Alabama Supreme Court’s rulings denied a lesbian custody of her children despite evidence that her former husband was physically abusive to them; the ruling called homosexuality “an inherent evil against which children must be protected.” Moore did not write the ruling, which the court issued in 2002, but he concurred “specially” in it. 

Watch an Alabama TV station’s report on Moore’s new campaign below.

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