A former Alabama Supreme Court Justice who was the keynote speaker at a Des Moines rally earlier this month says he may run for president.
In 2001 Roy Moore drew national attention for installing a monument to the Ten Commandments in Alabama’s courthouse. A federal court ordered that monument removed. After Moore refused to do so, Alabama’s judicial ethics panel booted Moore from that state’s high court in 2003. Moore was in Iowa last summer, campaigning to unseat Iowa Supreme Court justices who had joined in the Iowa court’s ruling on gay marriage. Moore was back in Des Moines on March 15th for a rally organized by backers of an amendment to Iowa’s constitution which would ban gay marriage. (AUDIO: listen to mp3 of Moore speech; runs 19 minutes.)
Moore, sounding like a presidential candidate, began his speech with praise of Iowa and its citizens.
“How great it is to be back in Iowa…Each time I think it’s prettier than the last time. When I came last summer and saw the beautiful farms and the rich soil and the waving green stalks of corn in the summer breeze, I just thought that there could be no finer place than Iowa,” Moore said. “…But you know what I like most about Iowa, what I admire most about Iowa? It’s the people…who are honest and hard-working, who are strong-willed and a little bit opinionated.”
Moore, a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran, recited the Cadet Prayer. He said it’s references to courage, nobility and scorn of compromise reminded him of Iowans.
“It’s no accident that Iowans have long had a pivotal voice in American politics…America looks to you for leadership in this critical season because what happens in Iowa affects the rest of the nation,” Moore said. “It’s not like Vegas. You’ve heard about Vegas — ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’. That’s not Iowa. What happens in Iowa the rest of the nation watches.”
Moore, who has called homosexuality “evil” and a crime against nature, warned rally-goers that “petty partisan politics” could endanger their desire to ban gay marriage.
“We’ve got a moral crisis in America,” Moore said. “We see the things that are happening in Japan…but right here we’ve got a moral melt-down.”
Moore called marriage between one man and one woman the “foundation of our country” and a blessing that is “ordained” from God.
“No society is prepared to deal with the problems arising out of same-sex marriages: child abuse, adoption, divorce, foster care, alimony and the list could go on and on,” Moore said. “And what stops these judges from next saying that three could be similarly situated as two?”
People in the crowded murmered “Amen” and “that’s right” in response. Danny Carroll, a lobbyist for The Family Leader, praised Moore as he introduced Moore to the crowd.
“Many people believe that Judge Moore was removed for displaying the Ten Commandments. He was not removed for that reason,” Carroll said. “He was removed because he dared to acknowledge God.”
Moore, who is 64 years old, ran for governor of Alabama twice and lost. He lost by a two-to-one margin in a G.O.P. Primary in 2006 and in 2010 he got about 19 percent of the vote in Alabama’s gubernatorial primary, finishing in fourth place. Moore is reportedly going to make a decision about running for president in April.
Photo courtesy of Dave Davidson, www.hereiniowa.com.