The Alabama Court of the Judiciary on
Monday denied a request to dismiss charges against Alabama Chief
Justice Roy Moore.
The ruling means that Moore will go on
trial next month on charges he violated judicial ethics in matters
related to his opposition to marriage rights for gay and lesbian
The court also denied a request to
remove Moore from the bench without a trial.
At issue is an administrative order
Moore wrote directing probate judges not to issue marriage licenses
to gay couples. Moore's order came months after the Supreme Court
found that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry and a
federal judge had struck down Alabama's marriage ban as
Moore and his lawyers argue that he was
merely providing much-needed advice.
“There is no evidence we violated the
law,” a defiant Moore told a crowd of roughly 100 supporters who
had gathered outside the courtroom.
Richard Cohen, president of the
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), told
Advertiser that Moore “absolutely told 68 probate judges to
violate a federal court order. Now he's trying to save his skin by
playing word games. It's unseemly and it's dishonest. … We've said
it many times, he acts as if he is the Ayatollah of Alabama. Instead
he is an elected state judge required to follow the oath of his
office, which makes federal law supreme, whether he likes it or not.”
Opponents gathered outside the court
building carried signs which read “#NoMoore.”