Meeting Marks One-Year Anniversary of Concurring Opinion Forbidding Custody of Children by a Lesbian Mother
Soulforce Press Release: February 21, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
The leader of Soulforce Alabama met unexpectedly with Chief Justice Roy Moore on February 19, 2003 in the State Supreme Courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama.
Rev. Felicia Fontaine, an ordained minister and leader of Soulforce Alabama, went to the courthouse with three other people to request a meeting with Justice Moore regarding his views and rhetoric about homosexuality after two previously mailed requests for a meeting had gone unanswered. Justice Moore arranged to meet with Rev. Fontaine immediately.
The four activists entered the courthouse on the one year anniversary of Chief Justice Moore’s special concurrence in a case involving custody of children by a lesbian mother, in which he laid out an extensive legal philosophy on homosexuality that used Biblical citations to justify legal persecution of lesbians and gay men, stating, "the lifestyle should never be tolerated."
According to Rev. Fontaine, the meeting was cordial and most of the discussion was of a personal nature. However, she did report that Justice Moore explained he was required to uphold the Alabama Code, and if the law in Alabama changed, then he would be bound to follow the law.
"I don’t believe his views changed in that one meeting, but it opened the door for further dialogue," said Rev. Fontaine. "People don’t think Roy Moore can change, but no one ever thought George Wallace would change either, and he did!"
Soulforce Alabama was formed last February, largely in response to Moore’s special concurrence in the custody case involving a lesbian mother. Soulforce Alabama is one of 20 licensed groups of Soulforce, Inc, a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people.
Soulforce Alabama was gathered at the courthouse to seek a meeting with Justice Moore, and announce the formation of an anti-hate campaign to address hate speech and crimes against lesbians and gay men in Alabama. Additionally, February 19 also marked the three year anniversary of the hate crime/murder of openly gay Billy Jack Gaither. A vigil, sponsored by Equality Alabama, was held that evening.
Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Soulforce employs the nonviolent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities.
Articles from Alabama press about this meeting can be viewed at:http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/NEWS/StoryAlabamagay20w.htm