Alabama religious groups support Roy Moore’s stand against same-sex marriage

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, leader of the Christian Defense Coalition, speaks in support of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, at a news conference in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 25, 2015. Twitter

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, leader of the Christian Defense Coalition, speaks in support of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, at a news conference in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 25, 2015.Twitter

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, leader of the Christian Defense Coalition, speaks in support of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, at a news conference in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 25, 2015.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Supporters who rallied around Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore during his 2003 Ten Commandments fight returned to Alabama Wednesday to praise his stand against same-sex marriage.

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, leader of the Christian Defense Coalition, said it was offensive to see Moore portrayed as “this George Wallace zealot, bigot, someone opposed to human rights and justice.”

“We see Judge Moore in a different light.”

Mahoney said Moore had embraced “the very principles of this nation in resisting unjust federal orders.” If anything, he said Moore should be compared to those who resisted unjust court rulings in the past, like the ones that allowed segregation and slavery.

In this case, Mahoney said, Moore is “just saying a judge can’t define marriage.”

“The institution of marriage is the oldest institution recorded among man,” said Mike Weldon, pastor of Claud Independent Methodist Church in Elmore County, who also spoke in support of Moore.

Same-sex couples began marrying in Alabama on Feb. 9 after a federal judge found Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Moore urged probate judges not to issue marriage licenses. Moore argues that probate judges are not bound by the federal judge’s decision because they were not defendants in the case.

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He also argues that probate judges, as members of the state judiciary, are not under the authority of a district-level federal judge.

Moore was removed as chief justice in 2003 for disobeying a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama judicial building. Mahoney and other pastors, who rallied for days on the courthouse steps in support of Moore then, returned to the steps Wednesday to praise him again.

Mahoney acknowledged that the U.S. Supreme Court might legalize same-sex marriage nationwide later this year. Mahoney called for a “peaceful resistance movement” to what he called judicial overreach on gay marriage and many other issues.

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