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No Moore: Some Mobilians call for impeachment of Alabama Chief Justice

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No Moore: Some Mobilians call for impeachment of Alabama Chief Justice

Mitchell Kahalley, Managing Editor

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On Saturday, dozens of Mobilians gathered at Government Plaza to call for the impeachment of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Last week, Moore issued an administrative order stating that a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court issued last March remains in effect, effectively  instructing probate courts to not issue any marriage licenses. Two days after the order was issued, Mobile County resumed issuing marriage licenses.

Mobile Equality is a non profit organization dedicated to advancing equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community of Mobile, Alabama. The organization’s founder, Amanda Scott said that she was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.

“There’s a lot of people here that I don’t actually know so I think it was people who saw the event and invited their friends and so I’m really excited about the momentum that’s been created,” Scott said. “People have really used word-of-mouth to get people out here. They’ve brought their own signs and it’s really more than I expected.”

Scott said that she feels that the country has moved on from the gay marriage debate since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“This is a battle that we’ve already won. The only person who is really putting up a fight is Roy Moore. And in Alabama of all places he’s really embarrassing us because all of the states have followed suit, they have followed the Supreme Court.”

Scott was not the only attendee of the rally who claimed that Moore was embarrassing the state. Robert Povilat, who married Milton Persinger on Feb. 12, 2015, making them the first same-sex couple to be wed in Mobile County,  said his first reaction to hearing the news of Moore’s administrative order was one of embarrassment.

“It was how ridiculous could this be and how ridiculous could Roy Moore be.” Povilat said. “We thought this was settled back last February, we thought it was settled in June and he continues to just show what an embarrassment to the state he is.”

Peter Daigle, the outreach director for Mobile Equality and a 2014 graduate of the University of South Alabama, said that even though the county resumed issuing marriage licenses, the protest is about more than that.

Daigle said, “We’re protesting Roy Moore, the abuse of power and him defying the law of the land so that’s why we all came out today.”

President and vice president of the University of South Alabama Political Science Club, Noah Hacker and John Daigle both attended the rally.

The two said that they were there to support the LGBT community of Mobile, but were also there to push back against what they feel is an abuse of power by Moore.

“It’s part of the Republican push for more state power and less federal government and less big government and it’s kind of an attack on that and on the shifting values of America. It’s saying that in Alabama and in the South we are very morally conservative and you can’t tell us what to do.” Hacker said

Both Hacker and John Daigle feel that removing Moore from the bench for what they see as an abuse of power is the right decision. Hacker said, “We go overseas to fight religious tyrants and here we have one in our own state.”

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No Moore: Some Mobilians call for impeachment of Alabama Chief Justice