U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore gave a campaign speech Wednesday night in which he blamed LGBT people and socialists for the allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct with teenage girls, and in which two hecklers were escorted out.
"They're liberals. They don't hold conservative values," the Alabama Republican said of his opponents, according to ABC News, CNN, and other outlets. "They are the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender who want to change our culture. They are socialists who want to change our way of life and put man above God and [believe] the government is our God. They are the Washington establishment. They want to keep everything the same so they don't lose their position, power, and prestige.”
Moore, the deeply anti-LGBT former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, further said he made enemies in handling drug cases as a prosecuting attorney, and these people are also at "the heart of this conspiracy" against him.
A man in the crowd then yelled, "The entire town? Are all the girls lying?" He was escorted out of the venue, the Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, Ala. The church’s pastor, Rev. David Gonnella, described the heckler as a “plant … with the IQ of one.”
"I would remind everyone again that this is a worship service," Gonnella added. "And by the way, it is illegal to disturb a worship service. The next one to disturb the service will be turned over to the police."
Comedian Tony Barbieri, who often appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! In the persona of Jake Byrd, attended the event in the guise of a Moore supporter and also interrupted the speech, yelling "That's a man's man" and "Does that look like the face of a molester?" He was escorted out as well, reports AL.com, a website for several Alabama newspapers.
Moore is accused of sexual contact with a girl he allegedly dated when she was only 14, and of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old, both about 40 years ago, when he was in his early 30s. He also reportedly dated several other teen girls at the time, before marrying his wife, Kayla. Moore has denied all the misconduct allegations and even knowing the women involved.
Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones in a special election December 12 to replace Jeff Sessions, the senator who became U.S. attorney general. Recent polls show Moore leading Jones.
In other Roy Moore news, ThinkProgress has uncovered a study course coauthored by Moore in 2011 in which one of the other contributors says women should not run for public office and probably not even vote, and that Christians have a moral obligation to vote against women candidates, no matter their ideology.
“The course, called ‘Law and Government: An Introductory Study Course,’ includes 28 hours of audio and visual lectures given by Moore and others, as well as a study guide,” ThinkProgress reports. It is a product of Vision Forum, a now-defunct evangelical organization, but is still available for purchase on Amazon.com.
In one of the lectures, William O. Einwechter, a teaching elder at Immanuel Free Reformed Church, says women should not work outside the home or hold public office. Giving what he calls God’s definition of woman, he says, “She’s not a warrior. She’s not a judge. She’s a woman. Created by God. Glorious in her place and in her conduct and in her role. Nothing is said in scripture that supports the notion that she is qualified or called to be a civil magistrate.”
He also says, “One of the most destructive ideologies of the last 50, hundred years have been the doctrines of feminism, which have transformed our culture and have paved the way for abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda, undermined our church, and subverted the doctrines of the biblical family.”
Moore’s lecture in the set, recorded in 2008, “recounts his fight over the Ten Commandments monument and bemoans the arrival of marriage equality, which the California Supreme Court had approved two weeks prior,” according to ThinkProgress. Moore also praises Doug Phillips, the head of Vision Forum. Moore served for several years on Vision Forum’s Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy.
“Not a school at all, Witherspoon was instead a series of four-day crash courses that taught men — and only men — that the Bible is the source of ‘law and liberty and the only sure foundation for addressing the challenging ethical questions of the twenty-first century,’” ThinkProgress reports.
Vision Forum closed in 2013 after Phillips admitted to an extramarital affair. The woman with whom he was involved, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, then sued Phillips and Vision Forum, saying the relationship began when she was just 15 and was “emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abusive,” according to ThinkProgress. The suit was settled and dismissed last year.