Suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is arguing that his ruling ordering probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples was more like advice.

Moore ordered probate judges, who issue marriage licenses in the state, to ignore a federal ruling that struck down Alabama's marriage ban. After the Supreme Court found that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, Moore argued that the ruling did not apply to Alabama.

In calling on the judges to ignore the high court, Moore argued that they had a “ministerial duty” not to issue such licenses.

In a 42-page brief filed with the Court of the Judiciary – which is looking into complaints that Moore should be removed from the bench – on Tuesday, Moore's attorneys argued that he was merely informing judges that the Alabama Supreme Court, which he helms, had yet to weigh in on a challenge to the marriage ban.

“[Moore] expressly disclaimed any intent to usurp the authority of the Alabama Supreme Court to determine the effect of Obergefell on those orders. For the same reason, the Chief Justice did not counsel the probate judges to disobey the federal injunction. In fact, he did not mention it,” the lawyers wrote.

Moore is being represented by the Christian conservative Florida-based Liberty Counsel, a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, which also argues that the Court of the Judiciary “is not a proper or adequate forum” for the charges.

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. Voters reinstated Moore in 2013.