A former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice has submitted a brief reinforcing the importance of traditional marriage one week after the U.S. Department of Justice filed its defense for the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
On Thursday, former state-Supreme-Court-judge-turned-religious-freedom-advocate Roy Moore filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit defending the constitutionality of DOMA.
In a statement, Moore labels marriage between a man and a woman as an institution founded by God. He equates redefining that definition to tampering with nature and finds doing so would “destroy one of the most foundational principles of our society.”
Moore justifies his actions and that of partner organization the Foundation for Moral Law by stating that they are simply doing the job that the DOJ will not do.
“President [Barack] Obama's Department of Justice is defending the law in court, but has abandoned most of the arguments that support the traditional definition of marriage,” he stated.
Several other conservative groups have also criticized DOJ for not fully defending DOMA. Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt criticized the DOJ’s defense as “deficient.”
The DOJ’s defense relates that there is “sufficient rational basis” for the law, asserting that DOMA establishes uniformity in the federal application of law. It also holds that the definition of a formal union between a man and a woman builds on the basic understanding of marriage.
However, it also notes, “Our society is evolving,” and “there has been a growing recognition that the prevailing regime is harmful to gay and lesbian members of our society.”
Schowengerdt said that a strong DOMA defense would acknowledge the 1996 act as an effort to encourage different sex marriage because of the ability to produce children in a stable family environment.
He and others believe that the DOJ is giving a weak defense because the Obama administration favors its repeal.
Obama has publically affirmed his support for same-sex civil unions over marriage. However, he reported having an “evolving” opinion of gay marriage.
Moore’s brief highlights the creation of man and woman in the Bible as establishing the natural order of marriage. He also affirmed the reasons given by Congress for DOMA.
Those reasons are to encourage and nurture the institution of traditional, heterosexual marriage; defend traditional notions of morality; protect state sovereignty and democratic self-governance; and preserve scarce government resources.
Moore is a former Alabama judge who was ousted in 2003 after he defied a federal order to remove his controversial 5,300-pound monument of the Ten Commandments from inside the state’s judicial building.
In 2006, he ran unsuccessfully against former state Gov. Bob Riley in the Republican primary and had another unsuccessful run for the governorship in 2010.
Moore currently serves as the president of the Foundation of Moral Law. The Foundation for Moral Law is a national non-profit legal organization located in Montgomery, Ala. He regards himself as a supporter of Christian nationalism, holding that the United States was created as a Christian nation.