Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on Friday was charged with violating judicial ethics related to his opposition to marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

After a federal judge in Mobile last year struck down Alabama's marriage ban, Moore ordered probate judges to ignore the ruling and refuse to issue licenses to gay couples.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed complains against Moore with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, which on Friday forwarded charges to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

Moore is suspended with pay from his position until the court hands down a decision.

Moore also argued that Alabama's ban remained in effect after the Supreme Court's June, 2015 finding that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

“Right now there's an injunction by the Alabama Supreme Court that forbids the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses,” Moore said at the time. “That has not been overruled by the United States Supreme Court.”

SPLC President Richard Cohen said that Moore should be removed from office.

“He is such an egomaniac and such a religious zealot that he thinks he can ignore court orders with impunity,” Cohen said. “For the sake of our state, he should be kicked out of office.”

Moore defended his actions on Friday, telling that the commission has no authority over “the legal injunctions of the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.”

“The Judicial Inquiry Commission has chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations that support their agenda,” Moore added.

Moore has also spoken out publicly against marriage equality, claiming that such unions go against God, will lead to incest, polygamy and child abuse, and will “destroy” the United States.

Moore was ousted from the bench in 2003 for refusing to remove from public property a monument of the Ten Commandments which he had commissioned.