Alabama Chief Justice suspended over gay marriage stance

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon


Sept 30 (Reuters) - The chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, charged with defying federal court rulings that permit same-sex marriage, was suspended on Friday for a second time after being found guilty of violating judicial ethics, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary ruled.

Chief Justice Roy Moore had gone on trial Wednesday on charges that he violated Alabama's canons of judicial ethics with a Jan. 6 order that said probate judges were bound by state law banning gay marriage.

SEE ALSO: Health insurance company owe you money? Here are 3 ways to fight back— and win

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore, effective immediately, without pay for the remainder of his term, saying in a ruling that it had found "clear and convincing evidence" of ethical violations.

Moore's attorney said in a statement that he planned to appeal the decision to the AlabamaSupreme Court.

The judiciary court's decision said Moore's Jan. 6 order to the probate judges showed "disregard for binding federal law."

More on the debate in the state

36 PHOTOS
Alabama gay marriage
See Gallery
Alabama gay marriage
A rainbow colored flag, seen through an American flag, flies in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, April 27, 2015, as the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Amanda Keller holds a flag as she joins other gay marriage supporters in Linn Park, at the Jefferson County courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop the marriages from beginning in the conservative southern state. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
A supporter of same-sex marriage wears a "Y'all means ALL" button at the courthouse before couples are allowed to file for a marriage license, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Gay couples began getting married in Alabama on Monday morning, despite an 11th-hour attempt from the state's chief justice to block the weddings. Alabama is the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore poses in front the the American flag, in Montgomery, Ala. The chief justice continues to fight against gay marriage in Alabama. Moore told state probate judges to refuse the marriage licenses to gay couples, saying they weren't bound to adhere to the ruling of the federal judge who declared Alabama's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Moore said decision legalizing gay marriage would be among the court's greatest mistakes. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
MONTGOMERY, AL - FEBRUARY 21: People rally against same sex marriage on the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, AL on February 21, 2015. The Alabama capitol was the destination of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 that helped lead to the Voting Rights Act. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Chilton County Probate Judge Bobby Martin discusses confusion over same-sex marriage in Alabama in his office in Clanton, Ala., on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. This week, Martin issued a license for a gay wedding, then stopped the practice, then resumed amid confusion over competing state and federal court directives. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)
Tori Sisson, dances with excitement for her wedding day, just before her and Shanté Wolfe are the first couple to file for their marriage license, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama is the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Olanda Smith, left, and Dinah McCaryer show off their certificate after being the first to be married at the Jefferson county courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed.(AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN - Tori Sisson and Shante Wolfe celebrate as they leave the courthouse with marriage license in hand on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. (Butch Dill/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore made an 11th-Hour move in the ongoing legal battle regarding same-sex marriage in Alabama. Moore issued an order late Sunday night telling state probate judges to refuse to issue or recognize marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN - Tori Sisson and Shante Wolfe celebrate with others as they get their marriage license on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. (Butch Dill/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN - Tori Sisson and Shante Wolfe are now legally married in the state of Alabama on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. (Butch Dill/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)
Pastor Herman Henderson holds a cross as he speaks to supporters of gay marriage in Linn Park, outside of the Jefferson County Courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Eli Wright raises his fist as he kisses his partner Don Wright, having just been married in Linn Park, at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Steve Davis, left, and James Farless hug after being married by Rev. Marge Ragona in Linn Park, at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
A "Marriage/Business License" sign in the Montgomery County Courthouse shows were couples can get their marriage license, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday despite an 11th-hour attempt from the state's chief justice to block the weddings.Alabama is the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Steve Davis and James Farless hold hands as they are married by Rev. Marge Ragona, Metropolitan Community Church, in Linn Park, at the Jefferson County courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
A supporter of same-sex marriage, Loritta Bacon, holds a sign the says "Love" near the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama is the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Just married Erik Obermiller, left center, white shirt, and David Roby are cheered by supporters of gay marriage as they leave the Jefferson County courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Tori Sisson, left, and Shante Wolfe, right, exchange wedding rings during their wedding ceremony, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Sisson and Wolfe are the first couple to file their marriage license in Montgomery County. Alabama is the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Now legally married, Dinah McCaryer, center, and Olanda Smith, behind McCaryer wearing a hat, are cheered by supporters of gay marriage as they leave the Jefferson County courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop the marriages from beginning in the conservative southern state. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Shante Wolfe, left, and Tori Sisson, fill out paperwork for their marriage license to be processed before becoming the first couple to file their marriage license in Montgomery County, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday despite an 11th-hour attempt from the state's chief justice to block the weddings. Alabama is the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo, foreground left, marries Olanda Smith, center, and Dinah McCaryer, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 at the Jefferson county courthouse in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Shante Wolfe, left, and Tori Sisson, wait for their marriage license to be processed before becoming the first couple to file their marriage license in Montgomery County, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday despite an 11th-hour attempt from the state's chief justice to block the weddings. Alabama is the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
The Rev. Charles Perry of Unity Church, in Birmingham, Ala., left, marries Curtis Stephens, center, and his partner of 30 years, Pat Helms, at the Jefferson County courthouse, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop the marriages from beginning in the conservative southern state. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Tori Sisson, signs a Certificate of Holy Matrimony, with her wife, Shanté Wolfe, after being the first couple to file their marriage license in Montgomery County, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama is the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Same-sex couple Dee Bush and Laura Bush hold hands as they wait for the Jefferson County courthouse doors to open so they can be legally married, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Pat Helms wears a sticker, tie and flower as he and partner Curtis Stephens wait for the Jefferson County courthouse doors to open so they can be legally married Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Shanté Wolfe, left and Tori Sisson, right, relax in their tent near the Montgomery County Courthouse Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Wolfe and Sisson camped out all night on Sunday to be the first couple to marry in Montgomery on Monday morning. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore sent a letter to probate judges Sunday evening ordering them to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Same-sex couples wait for the Jefferson County courthouse doors to open so they can be legally married, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Tori Sisson holds out her and Shanté Wolfe's wedding rings inside their tent near the Montgomery County Courthouse Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore sent a letter to probate judges Sunday evening ordering them to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
James Dansby protests in front of the Jefferson County courthouse as same-sex couples wait for the doors to open so they can be legally married Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. A federal judge's order overturning the state's ban on gay marriage goes into effect on Monday, making Alabama the 37th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Susan DuBose, right, of Montgomery, Al., hugs her daughter Rebekah Monson, left, 34, of Miami, before Rebekah marries her partner of nine year, Andrea Vigil at the marriage license bureau, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 in Miami. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel presided over Florida's first legally recognized same-sex marriages Monday afternoon. Still, most counties held off on official ceremonies until early Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle's ruling that Florida's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional took effect in all 67 counties. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Shanté Wolfe, and Tori Sisson, camp out near the Montgomery County Courthouse Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 in Montgomery, Ala. Wolfe and Sisson are planning to get married on Monday morning because they want to be the first couple to get married in Montgomery on Monday morning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Shanté Wolfe, left and Tori Sisson embrace near the Montgomery County Courthouse, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala., where they plan to stay overnight to be married Monday morning. A federal judge has stayed her order overturning Alabama's gay marriage ban for two weeks. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
HIDE CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION

This followed the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark June 2015 decision giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry in all 50 states.

The chief justice, an outspoken opponent of same-sex unions, has insisted there was uncertainty among the state's probate judges after conflicting opinions on gay marriage from state and federal courts.

"To suspend Chief Justice Moore for the duration of his term is a miscarriage of justice and we will appeal this case to the Alabama Supreme Court. This case is far from over," said Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, which is representing Moore, in a statement.

The ruling also noted Moore's history with the state's judiciary court. In 2003, Moore was removed from the bench for defying a federal order to take down a Ten Commandments Monument he had installed in the state's judicial building. Voters re-elected him as chief justice in 2012.

The charges against him came after a series of ethics complaints filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has said Moore should be removed from office.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners