Washington, DC — The Secular Coalition for America released the following statement in response to Roy Moore’s defeat in the Alabama special election.
“Roy Moore’s defeat is a victory for religious freedom,” said Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “Moore campaigned on a platform of Christian supremacy, promising that if elected, he would use his position as a United States Senator to impose his own fundamentalist religious beliefs on others. Such an approach to governance is fundamentally incompatible with the founding principles of our government. With their vote today, the people of Alabama stood up for the women, LGBTQ Americans, religious minorities, and nontheists across the country who would have been harmed by Moore’s theocratic policies.”
“Moore’s campaign brought national attention to the religious right’s agenda, which was exposed as divisive, hollow, and obsessed with obtaining power at all costs,” said Decker. “Despite facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, leaders of the religious right rallied to defend Moore throughout his campaign. By rejecting Roy Moore, the people of Alabama have sent a powerful message repudiating the religious right and their abhorrent approach toward politics.”
During his time on the Alabama State Supreme Court and his U.S. Senate campaign, Moore proudly touted his rejection of the Establishment Clause and preached his belief that the United States is a Christian nation. A few select examples include:
In 2001, Moore commissioned a granite Ten Commandments monument to be installed on the grounds of the Alabama Supreme Court. Moore said the purpose of the monument was to “acknowledge God’s overruling power over the affairs of men.” When a federal judge ruled in 2003 that the monument violated the Establishment Clause and ordered it to be taken down. Moore refused to comply with the judge’s order resulting in his removal from the court.
In 2016, Moore ordered Alabama probate judges to continue enforcing the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite the Supreme Court’s recent Obergefell v. Hodges decision. As a result, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore from his judgeship for the remainder of his term.
In February of 2016, Moore asserted that terrorism, including the 9/11 attacks, were caused by the United States “legitimizing abortion and sodomy.”
In 2006, Moore published an article in which he argued that Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison shouldn’t be allowed to hold his office because he is a practicing Muslim. Disregarding Article VI of the Constitution which clearly prohibits religious tests for public office, Moore wrote; “… no Muslim elected to Congress or the White House can swear to uphold the United States Constitution and still be a Muslim.”
In 2011, Roy Moore contributed to a textbook which argued Christians have a religious duty not to elect women to public office. While Moore did not write that particular section of the book, he did praise its authors and the course that the book was used for. That same year, Moore said getting rid of every constitutional amendment after the 10th amendment would “eliminate many problems.” Moore’s recommendation would include eliminating the 19th amendment, which grants women the right to vote.
Moore has repeatedly expressed deeply anti-LGBTQ views. While serving on the Alabama Supreme Court, he issued a ruling in 2002 in which he sided against a lesbian woman in a child custody case, saying that homosexuality “is an inherent evil against which children must be protected.” In 2016, Moore said that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage was “even worse” than the Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery. In a 2005 interview, Moore compared homosexuality to bestiality and asserted that it should be illegal.
“Moore’s defeat signals a pivotal turning point in our politics,” said Decker. “His campaign amplified many of the worst elements of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. His defeat, in a state that Trump won by 30 points in 2016, is a compelling indication that the religious right’s crusade is a losing political strategy. Our nation is religiously diverse, with one-in-four of all Americans claiming no religious affiliation at all. Those lawmakers and politicians who have employed a similar sectarian political strategy need to rewrite their playbooks. The future of our country is bright, diverse, inclusive, and secular.”
“Lastly we’d like to congratulate Doug Jones on his stunning victory,” said Decker. “We’d like to express our hope that Senator-elect Jones will do what neither Moore nor his predecessor could-uphold the separation of church and state.”