Washington (CNN)Alabama's Supreme Court chief justice hand delivered a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday urging him to oppose the "tyranny" of federal court rulings that have used "specious pretexts" to rule against same-sex marriage bans.
Alabama judge warns governor against gay marriage rulings
"As of this date, 44 federal courts have imposed by judicial fiat same-sex marriages in 21 states of the union, overturning the express will of the people in those states," Chief Justice Roy S. Moore wrote.
In 2003, Moore was removed from the court by a state ethics panel after he refused to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments in the court building. Moore was re-elected in 2012.
Moore asked Bentley, a Republican, to "uphold and support the Alabama Constitution with respect to marriage, both for the welfare of this state and for our posterity."
"Be advised," he said, "that I stand with you to stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority."
Moore was reacting in part to a recent ruling by Judge Callie Granade of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in favor of the recognition of same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriages in the state are stayed while the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals considers the issue.
The Supreme Court will hear the issue this spring.
Human Rights Campaign Alabama director Ashley Jackson condemned the judge's letter.
"There's something deeply ironic about a judge seeking the right to ignore another judge's ruling while crying 'judicial activism,'" she said in a statement. "The federal constitution guarantees the equal protection of the law for all Americans, and, sooner rather than later, that equality must come to Alabama's families, too."