Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, once said that the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide is “even worse” than the ruling that said black people could not be US citizens.
Here are Moore’s comments, from a November 2016 podcast resurfaced by the liberal American Bridge 21st Century, in which he compared 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges to 1857’s Dred Scott vs. Sandford:
In 1857, the United States Supreme Court did rule that black people were property. Of course, that contradicted the Constitution, and it took a civil war to overturn it. But this ruling in Obergefell is even worse in a sense because it forces not only people to recognize marriage other than the institution ordained of God and recognized by nearly every state in the union, it says that you now must do away with the definition of marriage and make it between two persons of the same gender or leading on, as one of the dissenting justices said, to polygamy, to multi-partner marriages.
We’ve got to go back and recognize that what they did in Obergefell was not only to create a right that does not exist under the Constitution, but then to mandate that that right compels Christians to give up their religious freedom and liberty.
Moore’s argument, in short, is that Obergefell infringes on Christians’ rights to reject same-sex marriages by forcing them to recognize marriage equality, which he sees as worse — at least, “in a sense” — than the decision that effectively upheld slavery.
Dred Scott is widely considered by legal experts to be the worst Supreme Court ruling of all time. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Roger Taney argued that people “of African descent” can’t be US citizens because for more than a century they had been “regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and … might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”
Moore has long been a very vocal opponent of the Obergefell decision. In 2016, he was suspended from the Alabama Supreme Court, where he acted as chief justice, because he refused to let the state’s probate judges issue same-sex marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision.
Moore also has a history of racially insensitive remarks. He has questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in the US. And he previously argued that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress.
In these newly surfaced remarks, Moore brought his insensitivity on race and LGBTQ rights together.
Moore’s campaign did not return a request for comment.