News (USA)

Alabama chief justice faces ouster after gay marriage fight

Moore was re-elected in 2012.The fiery Republican chief justice has been an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage both on and off the bench. During a 2012 campaign stop he said gay marriage would be the “ultimate destruction of our country because it destroys the very foundation upon which this nation is based.” He sent a Jan. 27, 2015, letter to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley asking him to stand up to “judicial tyranny” after a federal judge ruled Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

The chief justice held a press conference last week in Montgomery with attorney Mat Staver, who represented Kentucky clerk Kim Davis after she refused to issue marriage licenses. Moore and Staver criticized the Southern Poverty Law Center complaint as politically motivated.

Moore said he did not tell probate judges to defy a court order but was telling them that the Alabama Supreme Court order to refuse same-sex marriages had not been lifted.

“There is nothing in writing that you will find that I told anybody to disobey a federal court order. That’s not what I said,” Moore said last week. Asked last week if judges should be issuing licenses to gay couples, Moore said it remained for “probate judge to decide.”

Despite Moore’s January order, most Alabama counties are issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. However, a few Alabama counties have shut down marriage license operations and are not issuing them to anyone, in order to avoid giving licenses to gay couples.

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