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Alabama Chief Justice to Speak on Same-Sex Marriage

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Marriage March in Washington, D.C. Former Justice Moore says that Texas shouldn't approve current marriage equality measures.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore went to war with the Supreme Court back in 2003, over the right to display the Ten Commandments outside an Alabama courthouse. As a result, the Alabama Judiciary removed Moore from his post during his first term.

Now, Moore talks about who has jurisdiction over marriage and divorce, equality of rights and the future of same-sex marriage.

Back in January, a U.S. District court struck down Alabama's ban on same sex marriage. The state appealed the decision, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to act until it decides on the matter later this summer.

The Alabama Supreme Court isn't waiting. It's ordered all probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Moore speaks with David Brown of The Texas Standard.

Interview excerpts:

Moore, on why the state's court ruling didn't defy the federal court ruling:

"We did not defy the federal court. We simply have a different opinion on the constitutionality of our state constitution... State courts have equal authority to interpret the Constitution of the United States as do the federal courts. With the exception of the United States Supreme Court."

On considering same-sex marriage as equal treatment under the law:

"Equal doesn't imply the absence of a father or mother in a family relationship. If they want that equal treatment, every homosexual has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. This is not about equal treatment under the law, every person has equal treatment under that law of marriage."

"Seventy-six percent of the people in Texas adopted the fact marriage is between a man and a woman. So every person, be he male or female, is treated equally under the law: They can marry a person of the opposite gender."

What drives Moore to feel so strongly on the issue of same-sex marriage?

"It's about the law. It's about the Constitution of the United States. It's about my faith. It's about my upbringing, part of it was in Texas, by the way. Everything about our history denotes the fact, or recognizes the fact I should say, that marriage is between a man and a woman. How else can you create children? From a test tube? No, that's not the way it was designed. We were supposed to be a family. A father and a mother impart different aspects of training and education to children and that's the way they were meant to be, because it takes two to make a child. And when you take one of those people from it, then you don't have the traditional definition of a family and marriage."

Judge Moore will be speaking at the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally at the Texas Capitol next Monday.

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