Statement by Annie Laurie Gaylor
Freedom From Religion Foundation
Half a century after Alabama Gov. George Wallace earned the wrath of the Kennedy administration for his stance against desegregation, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is in hot water for his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Moore is in trouble for a four-page administrative order he sent out in January to Alabama's probate judges telling them it was their "ministerial duty" not to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Moore, an evangelical Christian fanatic, is incorrigible. He previously defied a federal court order to remove a 5,000-pound, washing-machine-sized Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court, which he plopped there in the dead of night. For defying the order of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Moore was removed as chief justice by a state ethics panel in 2003. Nevertheless, Moore was voted back as chief justice in 2012 — as good an argument as one can find for why state supreme court justices should not be elected.
Moore is pretending that he's striking a blow for liberty, calling the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage "immoral, unconstitutional and tyrannical." But the law of the land — as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court — is the law of the land.
His defiance once again is motivated by his faith — and his blinkered belief that he has the right to inflict his religion on everyone else. Just like segregationists, Moore makes a "states' rights" argument. But civil rights do not — and must not — depend on the state you happen to live in.
Moore is an old nemesis of FFRF. FFRF's Alabama chapter, the Alabama Freethought Society, and several of its members, first blew the whistle on Moore when he was a county judge in Gadsden, forcing jurors to pray and subjecting them to view his handcrafted wooden Ten Commandments plaque. Chapter members were the plaintiffs in the initial suit against Moore. Like a bad penny, he resurfaces, and regularly files briefs on behalf of his Foundation for Moral Law against FFRF and other separationist groups.
Moore has included nonbelievers among those he blames for his present travails. "Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday accused several groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and 'atheists, homosexuals and transgender individuals' of bringing a politically motivated complaint about his administrative order to probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses gay marriage to the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama," reports AlabamaMediaGroup.com. We're glad to be honored.
Chief Justice Roy Moore may be finally reaching the end of his ignominious career with the ongoing ethics trial. You can only travel so far on bigotry and illogic.