Chief Justice Roy Moore
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has joined those outraged by Alabama’s Chief Justice, who’s ordered other judges in his state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
On Wednesday, Roy Moore – Alabama’s senior judicial administrator – said judges must ignore the US Supreme Court’s historic June 2015 decision expanding marriage equality across the country.
According to Moore, the court only legalised same-sex marriage in the four states involved in the case and thus Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage stands until it is explicitly struck down by the Alabama Supreme Court.
He ordered that “Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”
Moore justified his position by citing a state law that says he can “take affirmative and appropriate action to correct or alleviate any condition or situation adversely affecting the administration of justice within the state.”
He was slammed by Clinton, who said Moore’s order was blatantly unconstitutional. “Marriage equality is now the law of the land — including in Alabama,” she insisted.
“There are still judges who are determined to stand in the way of people’s rights. There are still politicians who argue the court got it wrong and states should ignore its ruling,” said Clinton.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), condemned Moore’s “shameful order”, describing it as “flagrantly defying the rule of law, and empowering those who wish to stand between same-sex couples and their constitutional right to marry the person they love.”
“Regardless of what Roy Moore says, marriage equality is the law of the land,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “As a judge, he has an obligation to follow the law. If he refuses to do so, he should be removed from office.”
It is not yet clear how many judges will follow Moore’s order.