Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore on Thursday insisted that gay marriage bans are about sexual preference, not discrimination.

Moore set up a showdown between federal and state courts when he ordered probate judges to defy a federal judge's rulings striking down Alabama's ban on gay marriage. A majority of judges followed Moore's order; many stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.

On Thursday, a federal judge ordered Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, who was following Moore's advice, to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

(Related: Federal judge orders Mobile to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.)

Appearing on CNN's New Day, Moore disagreed with Chris Cuomo's assertion that Alabama's restrictive marriage ban discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

“This is not about discrimination,” Moore stated. “It's about sexual preference … overcoming an institution which has existed in our state, in our United States, for centuries. And I think it's wrong.”

When asked whether he would follow a Supreme Court decision striking down state marriage bans, Moore responded by asking Cuomo whether he would “follow the order in Dred Scott saying black people are property or would you follow the order in Plessy v. Ferguson that said separate but equal was the policy of the United States?”

“It's not my place to answer,” Cuomo answered. “You cannot duck your responsibilities by putting them on me, your honor. They didn't elect me to be chief justice.”

“If I can't follow what the Supreme Court says, I'll recuse from the case,” Moore answered. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)