In a time of judicial tyranny when judges around the country are overturning voter-approved statutes on the protection of marriage, one judge is standing up for justice.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore recently wrote a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley stating that he intends to continue to recognize the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and urging the governor to do so as well.
American Family Association (www.afa.net) praised Moore’s move and encouraged others to support him.
“We applaud Judge Roy Moore for his courage,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “We have seen judicial overreach for decades, and we agree with Judge Moore that this overreach needs to be stopped and that marriage is an issue that should be reserved to the states and their voters. Therefore, we commend him for his courage and willingness to take a stand.”
Moore wrote to Gov. Bentley that the recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie “Ginny” Granade, which overturned the state’s same-sex marriage ban, raised serious concerns about the “propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.”
“As you know,” Moore’s letter continued, “nothing in the United States Constitution grants the federal government the authority to redefine the institution of marriage. The people of this state have specifically recognized in our Constitution that marriage is ‘[a] sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman’; that ‘[a] marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in the state’; and that ‘[a] union replicating marriage of or between persons of the same sex … shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this state.’”
Even though the Supreme Court recently announced it would hear same-sex marriage arguments this term, the majority opinion in the 2013 Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which focused on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), stated, “By history and tradition the definition and regulation of marriage has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States.” The SCOTUS decision struck down DOMA based, in part, on the fact that the issue of marriage was not a federal one, but one reserved for individual states.
Moore added that, “As Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, I will continue to recognize the Alabama Constitution and the will of the people overwhelmingly expressed in the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment,” and, directed to the governor, “I ask you to continue to uphold and support the Alabama Constitution with respect to marriage, both for the welfare of this state and for our posterity. Be advised that I stand with you to stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority.”
Gov. Bentley issued a subsequent statement that he would continue to uphold the state Constitution, saying, “The people of Alabama voted in a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between man and woman. As governor, I must uphold the Constitution. I am disappointed in [this recent] ruling, and I will continue to oppose this ruling. The Federal government must not infringe on the rights of states.”
Eighty-one percent of Alabama voters approved the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment in 2006, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.