While state after state bowed to the dictates of activist judges, one state–Alabama–chose to make a stand. Chief Justice Roy Moore refused to accept the casual dismissal of the people’s vote for traditional marriage, and in doing so, gave heart and hope to our movement. CAAP will recognize Justice Moore’s stand this Spring by presenting him with the inaugural Letter From Birmingham Jail Courage Award.
Read more about Justice Moore and CAAP’s decision below.
The New American
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore will receive the first “Letter From Birmingham Jail Courage Award” from the Coalition of African-American Pastors, the CAAP announced this week. The group plans to present to Moore the first of what is planned as an annual award sometime this spring, according to the announcement sent out on Wednesday. The award is named for civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.’s impassioned plea to fellow clergymen to stand united in opposition to segregation, written while he was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. CAAP announced the award would got to Moore the day after the Alabama Supreme Court ordered the state’s probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite a federal court ruling declaring the state’s ban on same-sex “marriage” unconstitutional.
“Chief Justice Moore is an example for all of us,” CAAP president Reverend William Owens said in a statement included in the organization’s press release. “By making a principled and persuasive stand for marriage, Chief Justice Moore has singled himself out as someone who is ready to defend our most cherished values and help lead this new civil rights movement. By his words and courageous actions, he has helped preserve marriage, the family, justice, and the spirit of democracy. This is what it means to be a ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage Award’ recipient. We hope that his example inspires others to take similar action to defend marriage in their own communities.”
One News Now
An Alabama judge is being honored for standing his ground for biblical marriage.
The award is based on the famous letter Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned from the Birmingham, Alabama jail in 1963.
Bill Owens of The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) tells OneNewsNow Dr. King wrote that just laws must be obeyed.
“We’re not to obey unjust laws, but we are to be willing to pay the penalty for not obeying those laws,” Owens continues. “That was the basis of the civil rights movement. We will violate the laws, we will march, but we are willing to go to jail.”
Owens says that is the attitude of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who is fighting against a federal court decision overturning Alabama’s marriage amendment that protects the traditional definition of marriage.
“He’s willing to suffer those consequences because he wants to do what is right, what is morally right,” Owens observes. “What these courts are doing is immoral. It’s not a moral law, and Dr. King explained that. It should be a moral law. If it’s immoral, it’s not a law at all.”
Owens, in bestowing the Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage Award on Judge Moore, said that if state courts had stood their legal ground before, as Moore has done, the situation concerning marriage would not be in this current legal turmoil.
The Alabama Supreme Court has put a halt to same-sex marriage in their state.
The justices are defying federal courts and ordering state probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Six justices on the court ruled that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t alter the judges’ duty to administer state law.
Alabama law defines marriage as between only one man and one woman, and the justices say a federal court cannot tell them to change that.
The court’s most outspoken opponent of gay marriage, Chief Justice Roy Moore, recused himself from the case.
Joe Godfrey, executive director of the Baptist-run Alabama Citizens Action Program, said the high court’s decision will create “some stability” in Alabama until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on marriage later this year.
The National Organization for Marriage commended Alabama’s Supreme Court for their continuing support of traditional marriage.
“The Alabama Supreme Court is exactly correct that no federal judge has the power to order a state to issue illegal marriage licenses. Other states should follow suit,” NOM President Brian Brown said.
Additionally, the Coalition of African American Pastors honored Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday with an award for his continued support of traditional marriage.
The group is outraged over Attorney General Eric Holder’s comparison of the same-sex marriage movement to the Civil Rights Movement.
“It’s not a civil rights movement. It’s a civil wrongs movement,” Rev. William Owens, the groups founder and president, said.