Moore's opinion further tarnishes Alabama
Published 9:23 am Wednesday, February 27, 2002
Roy Moore, high priest of the Alabama Supreme Court, has once again come down from the mountain with a pronouncement that plays on popular prejudice and does nothing to further the cause of justice. His lengthy, rambling discourse on homosexuality would be pointless if it weren't so damaging. As it stands, it once again calls into question his fitness for the bench.
On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of a Birmingham man and against his ex-wife, who is living in a homosexual partnership in California. The two parents were fighting for custody of their three teen-age children.
We have no argument with the court's decision. The majority opinion makes it clear that both parents have acted badly. The mother initially had primary custody but gave it up after she began her lesbian relationship. The father has been excessive in his discipline, slapping the children and having them sit with paper bags on their heads. Still, we see nothing so severe that the father should lose custody.
As the trial court found:
And then into this sad, but fairly straightforward, drama strides High Priest Moore.
Moore traces his history of law from the "everlasting destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah" through English common law, but dismisses more recent advancements in the law and in the understanding of homosexuality.
To top it all off, Moore quotes our antiquated 1901 state constitution that decrees homosexuals should not have the right to vote (Art. VIII, 182).
State Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, said Sunday that he will file a complaint with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission asking that Moore be removed from office.
Moore would love nothing better. The prospect of defending himself in his crusade against homosexuality will play very well with voters.
The problem is that Moore, as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is expected to set his prejudices aside when he steps to the bench. Homosexuals cannot expect fair treatment in the state's highest court.
The Tuscaloosa News,