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Judge Calls Being Lesbian 'Detestable'

February 16, 2002|From Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In awarding custody of three teenagers to their father over their lesbian mother, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court wrote Friday that homosexuality is "an inherent evil" and shouldn't be tolerated.

The nine-judge panel ruled unanimously in favor of a Birmingham man and against his ex-wife, who now lives with her partner in Southern California.

The parents weren't named in court documents to protect the identity of the children, ages 15, 17 and 18.

Chief Justice Roy Moore wrote that the mother's relationship made her an unfit parent and that homosexuality is "abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature."

Moore also quoted Scripture, historical documents and previous state court rulings that he said back his view.

Moore is known for his decision to place washing machine-sized monuments of the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building after he became chief justice last year. He also fought to keep a Ten Commandments plaque in his courtroom when he was a district judge.

David White, state coordinator for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Alabama, said Moore's opinion reflects outdated thinking.

"It's unfortunate Alabama is going to be embarrassed once again by a religious fanatic in a position of power in Alabama," White said. "It's obvious he cannot judge a gay person fairly and he should be removed from office."

John Giles, state president of the Christian Coalition, said Moore's decision protects the institution of marriage and strengthens the traditional family.

The father had held custody since 1996, but the mother petitioned for custody in June 2000, contending the father had been abusive.

John Durward, the father's attorney, said his client "is very relieved."

The mother's attorney, Wendy Crew, had no immediate comment.

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