A former Alabama judge who is an outspoken opponent of gay marriage is plotting a presidential campaign.

Former Judge Roy Moore gained national attention when he refused to remove the “Ten Commandments” monument he erected in Alabama’s Supreme Court. He was removed from office in 2003 by a judicial ethics panel. It’s a group Moore says was “ignorant” of his constitutional right “to acknowledge God.” Moore lost two attempts to be the Republican Party’s nominee for governor in Alabama in 2006 and 2010. Now, Moore has his sights set on higher office.

“I’ve been asked by many people, for years, about running for president and I have not done so,” Moore said during an interview with Radio Iowa and The Des Moines Register. “I think that it’s time to explore that possibility.”

Moore, who is 64 years old, is in the midst of a six-day tour of Iowa, the state that hosts the kick-off event of the presidential campaign. This is Moore’s fourth visit to Iowa since last summer, when he was part of the campaign to oust three of the justices on the Iowa Supreme Court who joined the court’s unanimous opinion on gay marriage. Moore considers the Iowans who voted those justices off the bench to be a potential base of support.

“This is a natural group of people who want to stand for family values, want to stand for something that’s so common sense it defies imagination: marriage between one man and one woman,” Moore said.

Moore, a graduate of West Point who served in Vietnam, opposes the Obama Administration’s decision to undue the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allow openly gay and lesbian soldiers to serve in the military.

“I’ve served throughout the continental United States, Europe, Southeast Asia. I know that homosexuality is not condusive to the military mission and I have no qualms about that,” Moore said.  “I’ve seen it and felt it and experienced it and we’ve got to wake up to reality. Common sense dictates this.”

Moore is the president of The Foundation for Moral law and his group has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court which supports the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” which is being challenged in the federal courts.

Danny Carroll, a former state legislator from Grinnell, co-chaired former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s Iowa Caucus campaign in 2008, but Carroll said today that Moore is “my man” for 2012.

“What impresses me and a lot of other people that we talk to (is) you hear a lot of people talk about the courage of their convictions, seldom do you find someone who is willing to sacrifice their position because he was asked by a higher authority to no longer acknowledge God,” Carroll said. “…He has demonstrated, in real life actions, the courage of his convictions.” 

Carroll, who is volunteering his time to Moore this week, escorted the former judge to Tea Party rallies in Spencer and Sheldon on Saturday. Moore made a public appearance at a coffeehouse in Oskaloosa this afternoon. Moore is scheduled to make a public appearance in Jefferson tomorrow. On Thursday, Moore will make public stops in Sioux City, Orange City and Council Bluffs.