Alabama's chief justice Roy Moore has been suspended for the rest of his term for defying US federal gay marriage rulings.
The punishment effectively removes Mr Moore from office, without the court officially ousting him.
The nine-member Alabama court of the judiciary handed down the punishment after ruling Mr Moore had violated standards of judicial ethics.
Mr Moore was found to have encouraged probate judges to deny marriage licences to gay couples six months after the US supreme court ruled that everyone has a fundamental right to marry in all 50 American states.
Mr Moore vehemently denied that his administrative order was an act of defiance and said his personal beliefs had nothing to do with it.