Alabama suspends chief justice who defied same-sex marriage ruling

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Supporters of same-sex marriage hold a rainbow flag and a rainbow umbrella outside Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama February 9, 2015. Same-sex couples began marrying in Alabama on Monday despite an attempt by the conservative chief justice of the state's Supreme Court to block judges from issuing marriages licenses to gay men and women in open defiance of a January federal court ruling. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry

Supporters of same-sex marriage hold a rainbow flag and a rainbow umbrella outside Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama February 9, 2015. Same-sex couples began marrying in Alabama on Monday despite an attempt by the conservative chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court to block judges from issuing marriages licenses to gay men and women in open defiance of a January federal court ruling. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry

The chief justice for Alabama Supreme Court has been suspended after he defied the nation’s ruling on gay marriage, the Associated Press reported.

He is suspended until 2019, the end of his term on the state’s highest court. Long after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow gay marriage in all 50 states, Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore was found to have encouraged lower court judges to reject marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to Alabama Court of the Judiciary, Alabama’s flagship newspaper reported.

In May, Moore faced charges of violating judicial ethics suspended with pay after these allegations surfaced. This latest ruling effectively removes him from office, the Associated Press reported.

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