Editorial: Moore Diatribe Invites Appeal
Montgomery Advertiser, February 19,
Box 1000, Montgomery, AL, 36101-1000
As an individual, Roy Moore has every right to believe whatever he wants
about homosexuality. But as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore
does not speak as an individual; he speaks as a representative of the law and
of the people of this state.
Does Moore really believe that the message of hate he sent last week with
his language in a parental custody case is really in the best interests of the
law or of the state of Alabama?
Or is Moore using a convenient case to pander to his political supporters?
In an opinion issued last week in a child custody case involving a
California homosexual woman and her former husband in Alabama, Moore wrote:
"Homosexual conduct is, and has been, considered abhorrent, immoral,
detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and
of natureís God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated."
Moore goes on at length to quote everything from English common law to the
Bible to support his case that homosexuality is evil. He quotes Blackstone to
suggest that there are laws of nature and "revealed law" that
"no human law should be suffered to contradict... ." But Moore was
not elected to rule based on how he interprets revealed law and laws of
nature, but on the state and federal constitutions and the laws of the state
as passed by the Legislature.
At one time in this stateís history, there were people who believed that
the words "sexual relations between members of different races"
could have been substituted for "homosexual conduct" in the above
quote and still have been accurate. There were even laws on the books against
interracial marriage and sexual relations. Does Moore believe that since some
people felt that interracial relationships were against the laws of nature,
the courts had no grounds to find those laws unconstitutional? Clearly, and
thankfully, the courts felt they did.
It is interesting that Moore chose for his diatribe a case in which the
entire rest of the court had already decided to side with the Alabama father
against the California mother. Why else wade into this morass other than
The principal opinion written by Justice Gorman Houston and signed by the
other justices was muted in its tone and based on established precedent. With
his diatribe in his concurring opinion, Moore succeeded in introducing issues
that open the way for the homosexual mother to appeal, which she now has said
she would do.
Ironically, Moore may well have provided an avenue for the federal courts
to overturn any presumptions against homosexual parents in custody cases in
Alabama while he goes on to claim he is actually defending them.
Meanwhile, we hope those people in our society who commit hate crimes arenít
stirred to further violence by the chief justiceís use of sensationalist
terms to describe homosexuality.
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