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 couples.

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 unconstitutional.

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 the Montgomery 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.”