An Alabama judge who was removed from the bench twice had some nice words to say about Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.
Roy Moore was removed as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2003 when he refused to remove the Ten Commandments from a government building even after a federal court ordered him to do so. In 2016, he was suspended for ordering lower court judges to enforce the state’s ban on marriage between two people of the same-sex, despite the Obergefell v Hodges decision nullifying the ban.
Now Moore is running for a Senate seat left open by Jeff Sessions, who was appointed Attorney General. The Republican primary is next week, and Moore is showing well in polls.
In an interview with the Guardian, Moore used a famous quote from Ronald Reagan about the Soviet Union – “the focus of evil in the modern world” – to describe the United States.
“You could say that about America, couldn’t you?” he said. “We promote a lot of bad things.” The only example of “bad things” that he provided was marriage equality.
When the interviewer said that Vladimir Putin had the same opinions about LGBTQ rights, he replied, “Well, maybe Putin is right. Maybe he’s more akin to me than I know.”
Putin has won the admiration of the American right, in part because of his suppression of free speech for LGBTQ people.
Moore’s comments that America is “the focus of evil” follow last year’s Republican presidential campaign whose theme was that the United States is not great.