Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is facing charges that he abused his power by attempting to block gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

Moore's outspoken opposition to marriage equality led the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to file complaints with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, which forwarded the charges to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

During a 4-hour trial in Montgomery on Wednesday, Moore denied that he ordered probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court's order in Obergefell, which found that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Moore issued an administrative order to the state's 68 probate judges months after the high court's ruling in which he said that Alabama's marriage ban was still in effect because it had been upheld by an Alabama Supreme Court ruling issued four months before the Supreme Court's decision.

“In that administrative order, I wasn't telling them to do anything,” said Moore, the only person to testify at Wednesday's trial. “I would not defy any federal court order.”

The January 6 order was meant to provide a “status” report for judges, Moore argued, according to

Some counties, including Mobile County, among the busiest in the state, temporarily stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples in response to Moore's order.

Mat Staver of the Christian conservative law group Liberty Counsel is representing Moore. Staver also represented Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis in her legal fight to keep her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

“The administrative order did not change the status quo,” Staver argued. “You don't have a defiant chief justice here before you.”

The Court of the Judiciary has ten days to decide whether Moore should be censured, suspended or removed from the bench. Removal would require a unanimous decision from the court's nine members. It said it would release its ruling online, not in court.

Moore was ousted from the bench by the same court in 2003 for refusing to remove from public property a monument of the Ten Commandments which he had commissioned. Voters returned him to the bench a decade later.