Earlier this week, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore tried a last-ditch, unsuccessful effort to stop gay marriage in the state, directing state and officials and employees to just not grant marriage licenses, in defiance of a recent federal ruling. But Moore, who has called homosexuality "evil," wants you to know all this doesn't mean he's homophobic.
In an interview with Bloomberg Politics, which we saw via Talking Points Memo, Moore says that, to the contrary of everything that his words and actions and every life choice he's ever made might indicate, "I have many homosexual friends."
Host Mark Halperin asked Moore if he was flattered by recent comparisons to segregation-era Alabama Governor George Wallace, who famously stood at the door of University of Alabama to physically block two black students from entering the building after a federal order declared segregation unconstitutional.
"No," Moore responded. "This has nothing to do with anything about race or the color of one's skin. We don't discriminate in Alabama. This is about marriage, and we don't discriminate there either. All persons have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, according to the Constitution of Alabama's 'Sanctity of Marriage' amendment. And that's just the way it is, passed by the people of Alabama, some 81 percent."
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Moore also insisted to Bloomberg co-host John Heilemann that no, Albama wasn't bound to follow a federal order. He recited the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution but didn't seem to, you know, get it, claiming that state and federal systems are still somehow separate.
"It's not only okay [to disregard the federal ruling], there is no rule that you must regard it," Moore replied. If the Supreme Court rules that gay marriage is constitutional, though, he seemed to say that the state courts in Alabama would be bound by that ruling.
The hosts closed by asking Moore if he'd attend a gay wedding if invited.
"I've had many friends who are homosexual," Moore claimed, unblinking and straightfaced. "I've treated people just like other people." But, he admitted, cracking a sliver of a smile, "I would not go to a same-sex wedding, no." You don't say.
Here's the full interview. Watch your head as you're banging it on that desk.
Image via AP