Roy Moore, the homophobic former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is once again running for U.S. Senate.
Moore, who lost to Democrat Doug Jones in a special election in 2017 after Moore was accused of pedophilia, announced today that he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Jones next year, The New York Times reports.
“The people of Alabama are not only angry, but they’re going to act on that anger,” Moore said in making the announcement in Montgomery, the state’s capital. “The people of Alabama are tired of politicians saying one thing and doing another.”
Moore has a long history of anti-LGBTQ and other ultraconservative positions. He has said the gay rights movement will destroy the United States, that sexual relations with a member of the same sex is equivalent to bestiality, and that gay people are unfit to be parents. He has called transgender people mentally ill and said they have no legal rights. He is opposed to abortion rights, gun restrictions, and what he calls “socialized medicine,” that is, the Affordable Care Act. He was permanently removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for ethics violations related his efforts to block marriage equality in the state after the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established equal marriage rights nationwide.
“A strong family based on marriage between one man and one woman is and should remain our only guide and model,” his campaign website says. “I oppose abortion, same-sex marriage, civil unions, and all other threats to the traditional family order. Federal funding for Planned Parenthood or any form of abortion should be stopped.”
Moore’s 2017 loss to Jones, a supporter of LGBTQ equality who has a gay son, came largely because of the allegations that Moore made sexual advances to teenage girls, including some who were under the legal age of consent, when he was in his 30s. Moore, now 72, has denied that he ever engaged in such conduct.
Republicans, including Donald Trump, are not particularly enthused about another Moore candidacy, given his failure in the 2017 special election to fill the remainder of Jeff Sessions’s term after Sessions became Trump’s first attorney general. “Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating,” Trump wrote on Twitter last month in light of news that Moore was considering another run. Donald Trump Jr. sent an even more pointed tweet, saying to Moore, “You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA.”
Moore, who is a strong supporter of the current administration, said there is political pressure on the president to keep him at arm’s length, according to the Times. Moore has contended the Republican establishment is working against him.
Two others have announced they’ll seek the Alabama Republican nomination for the Senate: Congressman Bradley Byrne and former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, the Times reports. Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill is considering a run and is expected to announce his decision soon.
The Human Rights Campaign reacted quickly to Moore’s announcement. “Roy Moore is one of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians in the country,” said a statement released by HRC National Press Secretary for Campaigns Lucas Acosta. “He has been removed from almost every elected office he’s held for misconduct and lost his previous bid for the Senate despite Republicans previously holding both Alabama Senate seats for 20 years. It’s unclear why he would want to be denied yet another public office or put Alabamians through another Roy Moore candidacy, but we look forward to helping Sen. Doug Jones defeat him — again.”