A coalition of pastors on Friday
honored Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for his vocal opposition to
The Nevada-based Coalition of African
American Pastors (CAAP) created the Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Award to honor Moore. The group said that the award was inspired by
the famous letter calling for a non-violent response to racism
written by the late civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Moore injected himself into the
marriage debate in Alabama, ordering state probate judges – who
issue such licenses – to ignore a federal judge's ruling striking
down Alabama's ban.
The coalition presented Moore the award
at the steps of the Alabama Supreme Court.
“By making a principled and
persuasive stand for marriage, Justice Moore has singled himself out
as someone who is ready to defend our most cherished values and help
lead this new civil rights movement,” the group said. “By his
words and actions, he has helped preserve marriage, the family,
justice, and the spirit of democracy. This is what it means to be a
‘Letter from Birmingham a Jail Courage Award' recipient. We hope
that his example inspires others to take similar action to defend
marriage in their own communities.”
“This is not about civil rights,
except the rights that we have about the institution of marriage
that's being taken away from us,” Moore
said. “And it is a right of people to enter into a marriage
between a man and a woman and I think that's what the right is about.
It is not about any creation of a right between two men and two
The Reverend William Owens heads CAAP,
which attracted major headlines in 2012 for criticizing President
Barack Obama's endorsement of marriage equality. The group has
previously been linked to the National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), which is dedicated to the opposition of marriage rights for
gay men and lesbians.
Owens, Harry Jackson Orgs receive thousands from gay marriage foe