Alabama's Judge Roy Moore Doubles Down on Pledge to Defy Marriage Equality

Alabama's Judge Roy Moore Doubles Down on Pledge to Defy Marriage Equality

Alabama's marriage controversy shows no sign of dying down, with Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore denouncing gay couples this week on the radio show of certified anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council.

Appearing on FRC president Tony Perkins' radio show Washington Watch, Moore — who has already been removed from office once before — claimed not to be bound by federal rulings. 

His latest appearance may turn out to be a gift to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which earlier this week filed a complaint against the Chief Justice after he first pledged to ignore pro-equality rulings. SPLC pointed out that Moore's declaration constitutes numerous ethics violations, such as commenting on a pending case and encouraging lawlessness.

In his conversation with Perkins, Moore also lamented that the country no longer arrests and imprisons gays and lesbians, approvingly citing the 1986 case Bowers v. Hardwick, which legitimized anti-LGBT harassment by police. The FRC filed an antigay brief in the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the Bowers ruling.

Despite his support from FRC, Moore may find himself alone in the judicial community when it comes to disobeying federal courts on marriage.

After U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade first struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage earlier this month, the Alabama Probate Judges Association issued guidelines to its members advising them not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But the organization has now reversed course. The APJA now says that the pro-equality ruling does apply to all judges, but added that the ruling should be stayed indefinitely, pending appeal.

That reversal came after Granade clarified her ruling Wednesday, making it explicit that the state's ban was unconstitutional in all circumstances, not just for the named parties in the case.

The current stay in Alabama expires on February 9. The state has asked for a longer stay, but the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet responded to the that request. The 11th Circuit did deny a similar request from the state of Florida late last year, allowing marriage equality to begin in that state.

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