Alabama Chief Justice loses job after defiance of gay marriage orders

An Alabama Court found Roy Moore violated standards of judicial ethics

Roy Moore
FILE - In this June 28, 2015, file photo, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks to the congregation of Kimberly Church of God in Kimberly, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended for the rest of his term for defying federal gay marriage rulings.

The punishment effectively removes Moore from office, without the court officially ousting him. The nine-member Alabama Court of the Judiciary handed down the punishment Friday after ruling Moore had violating standards of judicial ethics.

Moore was found to have encouraged probate judges to deny marriage licenses to gay couples six months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that everyone has a fundamental right to marry in all 50 states.

Moore vehemently denied that his administrative order was an act of defiance and said his personal beliefs had nothing to do with it.

The Court of the Judiciary removed Moore as chief justice 13 years ago, too, when he refused to obey a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state judicial building. Moore was re-elected in 2012.

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