Watch Roy Moore, the Latest GOP Star, Argue for Criminalizing Homosexuality

And yes, he compares it to bestiality.

Bill Clark/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

The Republican Party has a new star: former judge Roy Moore. On Tuesday night, in an Alabama GOP primary, Moore defeated Luther Strange, who was appointed to the Senate seat Jeff Sessions vacated when he became attorney general. Now the controversial Moore—who was twice booted off the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal orders (once for violating a same-sex marriage ruling, once for resisting an order blocking him from placing a Ten Commandments monument at a courthouse)—is the favorite to win a Senate seat in the general election. 

Moore is a conservative extremist who has pushed birtherism and declared that Sharia law was taking over communities in Illinois and Indiana. (It is not.) He is best known for mounting a crusade to place the Ten Commandments in public spaces and for leading the far-right opposition to marriage equality. And during this Senate campaign, news stories have noted that he has called for criminalizing homosexuality. Last week, CNN posted a video clip of Moore defending this position during a 2005 interview with Bill Press on C-SPAN.

In this short excerpt, Moore says “homosexual conduct should be illegal” and calls it “immoral” and “detestable.” But the full face-off between Moore and Press is enlightening. Press keeps challenging Moore to explain what portion of the Constitution supports discrimination against gay Americans. Moore counters by contending that it was essentially unconstitutional for judges—including the Supreme Court—to overturn laws against sodomy. At one point, though, Moore notes that “you don’t find morality in the Constitution,” and then he proclaims, “We get our morality from the Holy Bible on which this nation is founded.” He denounces courts for having established a “right” to sodomy. 

Of course, Moore goes straight to the bestiality argument. “Do you know,” he asks, “that bestiality—the relationship between man and beast—is prohibited in every state?” Press interrupts to ask if he is comparing homosexuality with bestiality, and Moore says yes: “It’s the same thing…It is a moral precept on which this country is founded.” Apparently, the founders established the United States to protect its citizenry from homosexuality and bestiality. 

Here’s the full debate: 

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.