Albama's chief justice Judge Roy. S. Moore — once declared Man of the Year by Ann Coulter — issued a late-night order Sunday to the state's local officials, banning them from granting marriage licenses to gay couples. Same-sex marriages were set to begin in the state today, after Alabama's ban on gay marriage was found to be unconstitutional.
In his order, Moore claimed the federal ruling striking down the gay marriage ban wasn't binding on state authorities, writing, "Effective immediately, no probate judge of the state of Alabama nor any agent or employee of an Albama probate judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent with [the Albama Constitution]," Moore wrote, which bans gay marriage. And which is unconstitutional. And the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution says federal law supercedes state law, no matter how much you hate gays. This isn't that hard, Judge Moore.
Moore, a Republican of the prehistoric model, has a long history of dickish, showboating behavior: In a 2002 child custody case, he ruled against the mother solely because she was a lesbian, writing in his ruling that homosexuality is "an inherent evil" and criminal at that, "destructive to a basic building block of society _ the family." The following year he commissioned a statue of the Ten Commandments for the Albama Supreme Court building, then refused to remove it, for which an ethics panel suspended him. Ann Coulter declared him Man of the Year for that, praising him for not ceding to "ACLU bullying" or "liberals' make-believe law." Yes, Alabama, that most liberal of states.
Alabama newspaper editorials are calling Moore's last-ditch no gay marriage order what it is: a naked and slightly unhinged publicity stunt. Columnist John Archibald wrote, with a sort of exasperated fondness, that at least Moore is predictable: "Let a higher court say something about freedom from religion or the rights of gay people and he pops up, gesticulating wildly like some kind of wacky waving inflatable tube man outside your favorite used car lot." Meanwhile, Kyle Whitemire wondered aloud if Moore might be "a gay," writing, "I'm sorry, but think about it. No really. At least Google it. How many politicians who have stomped their feet over this issue turned out to be ... sexually bipartisan?"
Moore's last stand against happy gay people marrying each other was unsuccessful: moments ago, the Supreme Court declined to issue a stay to stop gay marriage from going into effect in Alabama. However, the New York Times reports that several local judges have signaled that they will refuse to grant gay marriage licenses.
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