Roy Moore is best known for his stand on the Ten Commandments, and his placement of a washing machine sized monument inside the Supreme Court Building when he was formerly Chief Justice. A case was brought against him, he was ruled against and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary removed him from office.
He later failed in an attempt to run for governor of Alabama in 2010, placing fourth in the Republican Primary.
But what people don't realize is how patently hateful and misguided Roy Moore is. In 2002, he issued a ruling in a lesbian custody case (D.H. vs H.H.) in which he said (bold print added by me),
"To disfavor practicing homosexuals in custody matters is not invidious discrimination, nor is it legislating personal morality. On the contrary, disfavoring practicing homosexuals in custody matters promotes the general welfare of the people of our State in accordance with our law, which is the duty of its public servants... The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle... Homosexual behavior is a ground for divorce, an act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one's ability to describe it. That is enough under the law to allow a court to consider such activity harmful to a child. To declare that homosexuality is harmful is not to make new law but to reaffirm the old; to say that it is not harmful is to experiment with people's lives, particularly the lives of children."
It is frightening that in the 21st century the most powerful judge in the state would state that gay people should be confined and executed to protect children.
In March of 2002 I had letters printed in the Western Star and the Birmingham News. Their content is applicable today, just as it was then.
From the Western Star, March 6, 2002
Thank you for your editorial comment on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 regarding Judge Roy Moore's opinion on homosexuality.
It is bad enough that he chose a case that was decided on other issues to spew forth his condemnation of homosexuality, but that he also wrote that the state should use the "power of the sword" and to even use the word "execution" when referring to punishment is frightening.
Since Alabama has no hate crimes law that protects its citizens from crimes based on sexual orientation, this type of speech from our states highest judge might be interpreted by those who would not commit such crimes as an invitation to do so.
This Taliban-like decree should strike fear with all gay and lesbian citizens.
And after Judge Moore has cleared the state of all homosexuals, which minority of citizens unlike himself will he choose to go after next? Muslims? Catholics? Hispanics? Blacks? Women?
Come to think of it, maybe it's not just the homosexuals who should be frightened.
From the Birmingham News March 28, 2002
That it took more than a month for Chief Justice Roy Moore to comment on his condemnation of homosexuals tells us that he must not really have been concerned about the firestorm he created with his remarks - or maybe it just took a lot of time and creativity to come up with the rationalization that he gave us Saturday.
His words in his concurring opinion were written, and it is clear what they said and what their intention was. It is sickening that politicians can say anything they want and do their damage then later try to make excuses and reinterpret their statements to do damage control.
Moore hurt and frightened many people in Alabama with his words, but did he apologize? No. he inspired more hatred as fellow anti-gay personality Fred Phelps was drawn to our state in support of Moore.
The only way Moore can right the wrong he has done is to apologize to the people of our state, admit he was wrong and resign his post.
It is shameful that this man is being accepted by enough people in our state to have a chance (and a probability) that he will return to the seat from which he was expelled.
If this man is elected, I predict there will be more hate crimes and possibly more murders against LGBT people in our state. Misguided individuals will hear his words and take them as assurance that they are acting with God's and Moore's approval.
It might take a miracle to prevent this man from becoming our chief justice.