Washington (CNN)– The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court insisted Thursday he will continue to resist efforts to implement same-sex marriage in his state, even if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage later this year.
Chief Justice Roy Moore likened an eventual U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage to the Dred Scott ruling and Plessy v. Ferguson, two 19th century Supreme Court rulings that upheld slavery and segregation, respectively.
“If it’s an unlawful mandate you can refuse to mandate it. You can dissent to the United States Supreme Court,” Moore said in a testy interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “I will follow the law as I interpret it.”
Moore has ordered lower court judges in Alabama not to implement a federal court ruling that overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Moore’s actions come despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the federal ruling, effectively allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state for the first time on Monday.
Judges in some of the state’s counties refused to allow same-sex couples to marry in spite of the federal court ruling.
“That’s not the federal law. What you’re confusing is law with the opinion of a justice,” Moore told Cuomo. “What one lone federal judge says is not law.”
Moore is personally opposed to gay marriage and steadfastly against legalizing gay marriage, insisting that Alabama recognizes the “divine” nature of the definition of marriage.
Moore also characterized the federal judge’s ruling that overturned the state’s ban as an “attempt by the federal court to control the state,” which he called a “federal intrusion into state sovereignty.”
The battle Moore is waging is just the latest for a controversial judge who sticks to his guns and won’t bend to federal law when he believes it is wrong.
Moore was booted from the state’s supreme court when he refused to implement a federal ruling ordering the removal of a monument to the Ten Commandments at an Alabama judicial building in 2003.
He won a statewide reelection to reclaim his chief justiceship in 2012.