A coalition of pastors on Friday honored Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for his vocal opposition to marriage equality.

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 women.”

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.

(Related: Bill Owens, Harry Jackson Orgs receive thousands from gay marriage foe NOM.)