MONTGOMERY— Today, HRC Alabama filed an Alabama Open Records request for the government email and phone records of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. HRC Alabama wants to determine whether Chief Justice Moore concocted an organized plan to stop same-sex marriages by enlisting two anti-LGBT groups –the Alabama Policy Institute (API) and the Alabama Citizens Action Plan (ALCAP) -- to file emergency petitions to the Alabama Supreme Court. These same records would also reflect whether Justice Moore violated judicial codes of conduct by encouraging probate judges to deny LGBT couples their constitutional right to marry.
Last week, the two anti-LGBT activist groups, API and ALCAP, filed an emergency petition to the Alabama Supreme Court, hoping to stop marriage equality across the state. On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court voted 6-2 to take up the petition. Justice Moore did not vote. Responses to the petition were due at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
“We want to know whether Justice Moore inappropriately used the power of his office to direct legal strategy in a case before his own court,” said HRC Alabama State Director R. Ashley Jackson. “Judge Moore is no stranger to questionable legal ethics and Alabamians have the right to know whether their chief justice has acted inappropriately once again. We ask Justice Moore to come clean and voluntarily hand over these files.”
According to Alabama Open Records Law § 36-12-40 et seq., HRC Alabama has requested to publicly inspect Moore’s email communications containing the following terms: gay; lesbian; homosexual; marriage; or Granade. HRC Alabama has also requested the phone records from January 23, 2015 to present. The listed time frame begins from the day U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade struck down Alabama’s discriminatory ban on marriage.
From the beginning, Chief Justice Moore has caused great confusion around same-sex couples’ right to marry. Earlier this week in response to Justice Moore’s anti-LGBT efforts, HRC Alabama collected and delivered 28,000 petitions, urging the Judicial Inquiry Commission to conduct a full ethics investigation. The petitions are in support of the ethics complaint submitted to the commission earlier this month by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
HRC Alabama is working to advance equality for LGBT Alabamians who have no state or municipal level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; and state protections from hate crimes. Through HRC Alabama, we are working toward a future of fairness every day—changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.
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