Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, announced Wednesday his organization has endorsed Moore in an email blast titled “Our choice for U.S. Senate in Alabama.”
“Roy Moore is a champion for marriage, life, and religious liberty,” Brown writes. “He knows that under the constitution the American people reign supreme, not judges or politicians. Judge Moore will work to restore marriage to our laws, and to protect the religious liberty rights of people to live out their beliefs about marriage at work and in their daily lives.”
A former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore has taken extreme views against same-sex marriage. Calling the decision “an immoral, unconstitutional and tyrannical opinion,” Moore instructed Alabama state judges to ignore federal rulings in favor of marriage equality.
Last year, Moore issued a directive saying despite the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage, probate judges should still deny marriage licenses to gay couples because the Alabama Supreme Court never withheld its 2015 ruling upholding the state law against gay nuptials.
For encouraging state officials to defy federal courts, the Alabama judicial court suspended Moore for the remainder of his term from the Alabama Supreme Court. The body determined Moore “failed to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.” (It wasn’t the first time Moore was suspended from the bench. It happened before in 2003 when he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building despite orders from a federal court.)
Moore hasn’t shied away from his anti-gay views during his run for a U.S. Senate seat, which he pursued after dropping his appeal of the Alabama judicial court ruling ousting him from the bench.
In an interview with The Guardian, Moore cited same-sex marriage as a reason for why he thinks former President Reagan’s declaration about the Soviet Union being “the focus of evil in the modern world” might today be apply to the United States.
“You could say that about America, couldn’t you?” Moore was quoted as saying. “We promote a lot of bad things.”
When it was pointed out his views on LGBT rights were akin to those Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has enacted anti-LGBT policies in Russia, Moore replied, “Maybe Putin is right.”
Brown’s email blast in support of Moore comes with a video extolling the candidate for embracing the cause of the “religious freedom” — code for social conservatives to mean anti-LGBT discrimination — and resisting the Obergefell decision.
“The people of Alabama, and the entire country, deserve a U.S. senator who will fight against activist judges to restore the truth of marriage to our laws and to protect the religious liberty of people of faith and all others who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Brown writes. “Roy Moore is just such a leader, and we wholeheartedly endorse his election to the Senate.”
The primary for the special election, held to replace the U.S. Senate seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions upon his confirmation as attorney general, already took place Aug. 15. Moore won a plurality of 38 percent of the vote against his opponent, interim U.S. Sen. Luther Strange. The run off election between the two will take place Sept. 28.
A former Alabama attorney general, Strange also has a record of opposition to same-sex marriage and defended the state law against same-sex marriage in court. But Strange didn’t take the same extreme position as Moore or seeking to defy federal rulings in favor of same-sex marriage.
Just before the primary, President Trump endorsed Luther, who is also the preferred candidate of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It remains to be seen if Trump will change his mind as the run off approaches and Moore continues to remain popular in the polls.