Alabama chief justice suspended over same-sex marriage directive

Judge Roy Moore has been effectively removed him from office

Alabama chief justice suspended over same-sex marriage directive

In this file photo, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore poses in front the the American flag, in Montgomery, Alabama | Image: Brynn Anderson / AP/Press Association Images

A chief justice in the US state of Alabama has been suspended over his views relating to gay marriage.

Judge Roy Moore has been suspended for the rest of his term, which was due to end in 2018.

The Associated Press say the move effectively removes him from office, without the court officially ousting him.

The nine-member Alabama Court of the Judiciary handed down the ruling after deciding he had violated standards of judicial ethics.

He has been accused of telling state probate judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples - months after the US Supreme Court ruled that everyone has a fundamental right to marry.

He claimed they were not bound to adhere to the ruling of the federal judge, who declared Alabama's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

Moore said the decision legalising gay marriage would be among the court's greatest mistakes, the Press Association reports.

He denied his administrative order was an act of defiance - and his attorney said Moore did not order probate judges to directly violate the US Supreme Court.

The same panel also removed him in 2003 because he refused to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.