Alabama's top judge suspended over gay marriage stand

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Alabama's top judge has been suspended for the remainder of his term for defying federal court rulings that legalised same-sex marriage.

Roy Moore, 69, violated judicial ethics with an order seen as directing probate judges to deny marriage licences to gay couples, a judicial panel ruled.

The decision was a "politically motivated effort" by radical groups, he said. His lawyer has vowed to appeal.

It is the second suspension for Mr Moore, an outspoken conservative.

In 2003, he was removed for refusing to take down a monument of the Ten Commandments he installed at a state building.

He was re-elected as chief justice of the state's Supreme Court in 2012.

In Friday's decision, the nine-member Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously decided to suspend him for the remainder of his term without pay.

The move essentially removes Mr Moore from the bench, as he will be unable to seek re-election at the end of his term, in January 2019, because of age restrictions, his lawyer Mat Staver said.

Reacting to the decision, Mr Moore said in a statement: "This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as chief justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda."

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