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UM's Join In Attack On Alabama Supreme Court Judge For Opposing Homosexual Adoption


Sunday, February 24, 2002
EPF News Release
RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS RALLY AT ALABAMA
JUDICIAL BUILDING
Groups Speak Out Against "Legal" Opinion of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore

Religious leaders and clergy from local, state, and national interfaith and denominational groups and advocacy organizations from across the U.S. gathered Friday, February 22, 2002 in Montgomery Alabama to denounce the "legal" opinion of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in a case against a lesbian mother.

The press conference, which drew approximately 150 supporters and dozens of TV cameras and newspaper reporters, was sponsored by Alliance for Civility and Tolerance of Alabama, Equal Partners in Faith, Equality Begins at Home of Central Alabama, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Lorri L. Jean, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force commented, "When people like Roy Moore exploit their positions of power by condemning gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, it legitimizes hate and seeks to excuse the actions of people who use religion to justify bigotry and violence."

Many groups noted that only three years ago this week, Billy Jack Gaither, a young gay man was murdered in Alabama, as well as the fact that injustice and intolerance in Montgomery, Alabama served as the spark for the civil rights movement led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The press conference was held a mere two blocks away from the former church of Rev. King.

Justice Moore's concurring opinion recently in a child-custody case called for the state to use its power to prohibit homosexuals from raising children through physical penalties, including execution. In a long opinion based on religious rhetoric that cited passages from the biblical books of Genesis and Leviticus, Moore called homosexuality "sinful", and "abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature's God."

"I am very pleased that by holding this press conference, we showed the nation and the citizens of Alabama that not all people of faith agree with Judge Roy Moore," said Ken Baker, key organizer of the press conference and chair of Equality Begins at Home of Central Alabama. "Religious leaders from the mainline denominations, including United Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian (USA), Baptist, and Lutheran, as well as from Unitarian Universalist and Metropolitan Community Church, stood together for justice on the steps of the Alabama Judicial Building."

Several groups that were represented at the press conference in Montgomery called for the removal, disbarring or resignation of Justice Moore. Included among those groups were Equal Partners in Faith, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Equality Begins at Home of Central Alabama, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who is suing Justice Moore over the 2-ton Ten Commandments monument that Moore had installed in the Supreme Court Building in Montgomery last year.

"As people of faith, we can no longer allow Justice Moore to use his position on the Alabama Supreme Court to undermine the U.S. Constitution and the separation of church and state. As people of faith, we can no longer allow a judge who lets his personal and religious biases get in the way of justice continue to claim to serve the people," declared Equal Partners in Faith Director, Laura Montgomery Rutt during the press conference. "Equal Partners in Faith joins with other organizations calling for Justice Roy Moore to resign or be removed from the bench. Enough is enough!"


EQUAL PARTNERS in FAITH is a multi-racial national network of religious leaders and people of faith committed to equality and diversity. Our diverse faith traditions and shared religious values lead us to affirm and defend the equality of all people, regardless of religion, race, ability, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. As people of faith, we actively oppose the manipulation of religion to promote inequality and exclusion.

Equal Partners in Faith
5 Thomas Circle
Washington DC 20005
1-888-304-5831
1-202-797-0111 (fax)

website: http://www.us.net/epf/index2.html 
email: epfnational@aol.com 
Circulated by Laura Montgomery Rutt, Director

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