Alabama’s Supreme Court Chief Justice was suspended on Friday for ordering state probate judges not to grant marriage licenses to gay couples, despite contrary rulings by a federal court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roy Moore, an outspoken opponent of same-sex unions, faces possible removal from the bench after the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission charged him with violating the state’s judicial ethics laws, according to news website AL.com.

The legality of gay marriage had been at the center of a national debate until the Supreme Court ruled in June that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement. Despite the decision and a federal court ruling that made gay marriage legal in Alabama, Moore in January issued an administrative order to state probate judges that they should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to court documents. READ MORE