Gay rights

I am a little perplexed that people are focusing so much today on the fact that Roy Moore, an Alabama candidate for U.S. Senate, said back in 2015 that homosexuality ought to be illegal. I thought that this was a core belief of Moore’s that pretty much everyone who knew even a tiny bit about him already understood. I mean, isn’t the following the most basic biographical information about Moore?

Moore was elected to the position of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2001, but removed from his position in November 2003 by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments commissioned by him from the Alabama Judicial Building, despite orders to do so by a federal court…

…Moore was again elected Chief Justice in 2013, but was suspended in May 2016, for directing probate judges to continue to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite the fact that it had been overturned. Following an unsuccessful appeal, Moore resigned in April 2017, and announced that he would be running for the United States Senate seat which was vacated by Jeff Sessions, upon his confirmation as Attorney General of the United States.

He’s a fundamentalist who thinks the Old Testament is binding law. That’s who he is and that’s why he’s been twice removed as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for failing to uphold the Constitution. If you didn’t know that he considered homosexuality to be prohibited by biblical law and that he considers biblical law to be preeminent over civil law, I’m not sure you knew anything about this guy at all.

That’s not to say that people shouldn’t highlight these facts, especially with the special election less than a week away, but it’s hardly breaking news.

Here’s something that people probably don’t know but should:

Moore was also a notable opponent of a proposed amendment to the Alabama constitution in 2004. Known as Amendment 2, the proposed legislation would have removed wording from the state constitution that referred to poll taxes and required separate schools for “white and colored children,” a practice already outlawed due to civil rights-era legislation during the Civil Rights Movement. Moore and other opponents of the measure argued that the amendment’s wording would have allowed federal judges to force the state to fund public school improvements with increased taxes. Voters in Alabama narrowly defeated the proposed amendment, with a margin of 1,850 votes out of 1.38 million cast.

I’m not sure if I should look in Leviticus or Deuteronomy to find the prohibition on funding school improvements for colored children.

If Moore wins this seat, Vice-President Pence will have to administer him the oath of office where Moore will swear to uphold the Constitution one more time. The spectacle should be good for a few laughs. And if Yahweh is looking on, I hope he’s charged his taser.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at