Metro Weekly

Alabama chief justice vows to fight marriage-equality ruling

Roy Moore - Credit: Alabama Supreme Court

Roy Moore – Credit: Alabama Supreme Court

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore urged state officials to continue to uphold the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, despite federal court rulings finding those laws unconstitutional.

In a Jan. 27 letter to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), Moore wrote that “44 federal courts have imposed by judicial fiat same-sex marriages in 21 states of the Union, overturning the express will of the people in those states.”

Citing an 1825 letter by Thomas Jefferson, as well as passages of the Bible, Moore continued, “If we are to preserve that ‘reverent morality which is our source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement,’ then we must act to oppose such tyranny!” According to Moore, the “destruction” of the institution of marriage “is upon us by federal courts using specious pretexts based on the Equal Protection, Due Process, and Full Faith and Credit Clauses of the United States Constitution.”

Moore’s letter comes after U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade ruled Friday and Monday in two separate cases that Alabama law prohibiting same-sex marriage in violation of the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Granade stayed her decisions for 14-days to allow the state to appeal. If no action is taken by for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to extend or lift the stay within that time period, the stay will be lifted on February 9.

“Our State Constitution and our morality are under attack by a federal court decision that has no basis in the Constitution of the United States,” Moore wrote.

“I ask you to continue to uphold and support the Alabama Constitution with respect to marriage, both for the welfare of this state and for our posterity,” he continued. “Be advised that I stand with you to stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority.”

According to, which first reported the letter from Moore, Bentley responded with a statement following the release of the letter vowing to continue to fight the federal court ruling.

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“The people of Alabama elected me to uphold our state Constitution, and when I took the oath of office last week, that is what I promised to do,” Bentley said in a statement. “The people of Alabama voted in a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between man and woman. As governor, I must uphold the Constitution. I am disappointed in Friday’s ruling, and I will continue to oppose this ruling. The Federal government must not infringe on the rights of states.”

Roy Moore Letter

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Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's former political editor and White House correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @JustinCSnow.

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