SPLC calls for removal of Alabama's top judge after same-sex marriage order

SPLC calls for removal of Alabama's top judge after same-sex marriage order

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The leader of the Southern Poverty Law Center called Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's order to halt the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Alabama outrageous.

In a complaint submitted Wednesday, the SPLC argued Moore's administrative order violates the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics, which instructs judges to "respect and comply with the law" and promote "public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."

On Thursday SPLC President Richard Cohen re-voiced his calls for Alabama's top judge to be removed from the Alabama Supreme Court.

Wednesday Moore issued an order telling the state's 57 probate justices to no longer issue marriage license to same-sex couples.

The order comes six months after the United State's supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal. However, Moore said Wednesday that it might not apply to Alabama.

Moore said the Supreme Court decision only related to the four state's listed in the lawsuit.

Moore cites cases in states such as Nebraska, which ruled the Supreme Court's ruling only struck down the marriage laws in those four states -- not Nebraska.

Since Alabama's marriage laws are different from the states who were defendants in the case, the Alabama Supreme Court is still deciding if the United State's Supreme Court Ruling applies to them.

Until that is decided, Moore issued this order to have probate justices go back to the same policy they were using before the Supreme Court decision.

Cohen said Moore's argument is wrong and ignoring a federal court ruling in Mobile, which ruled the Supreme Court's decision did legalize same-sex marriage in Alabama.

However, Moore argues the only court that can overrule a pending Alabama Supreme Court case is its federal counterpart.

Cohen said Moore's order asks the state's 57 probate justices to violate federal law.

The SPLC is currently fighting for Moore's removal from the Alabama Supreme Court, which happened to Moore once before, more than a decade ago.

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