Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Suspended For Telling Judges To Still Ban Same-Sex Marriage

“Alabama is a great state and deserves better than a chief justice who thinks he is above the law.”

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended without pay for the remainder of his term, as a result of his instructing state judges to continue barring same-sex couples from marrying even after a federal judge overturned the state’s ban.

Moore will also have to pay the costs associated with this week’s hearing.

Crowd Gathers To Hear Chief Justice Roy Moore
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In January, six months after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality on a national level, Moore sent a memo to probate judges insisting Alabama’s ban was still in effect.

John Carroll of the Judicial Inquiry Commission told the court Moore abused his power as chief justice to promote his personal opinion against same-sex marriage.

In its judgment, the committee indicated that some members of the committee did not “personally agree” with the Supreme Court’s ruling , but they were unanimous in determining Moore had failed to comply with the law, abused his position and “brought the judicial office into disrepute.”

Moore’s attorney, Mat Staver of the notorious Liberty Counsel, said his client was only clarifying the situation.

“They said I tried to influence them. I said it’s their decision,” Moore told supporters last month. He insisted the complaint was filed by people who “don’t want anybody opposing any agenda of the homosexual movement.”

MONTGOMERY, AL - FEBRUARY 21: People rally against same sex mar
Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, described Moore as “the ayatollah of Alabama.”

“Alabama is a great state and deserves better than a chief justice who thinks he is above the law.”

It won’t be Moore’s first time kicked out of office: He was unseated in 2003 for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from in front of the state courthouse. He was reelected in 2012.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.