Senate hopeful Roy Moore slithered out of hiding on Wednesday night to deliver a rare campaign speech at an Alabama church, using his time behind the pulpit to blame the many sexual harassment allegations against him on a vast conspiracy between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people, and socialists to bring him down.
“Who are they? They’re liberals. They don’t want conservative values. They are the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, who want to change our culture,” Moore told the crowd at Magnolia Springs Baptist Church. “They’re socialists who want to change our way of life. Putting man above God and 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 has repeatedly denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. Since that story was first reported by the Washington Post earlier this month, a procession of other women have come forward to accuse Moore of pursuing them when they were teenagers, a predilection that got him banned from a local mall. Perhaps this is the “way of life” that Moore is accusing liberals of trying to change?
On Wednesday, Moore doubled down on proclaiming his innocence. The accusation against him are “false and malicious,” he said in the church; the product of a conspiracy invented by “Democrats pushing a liberal agenda” who have “tried unsuccessfully” to destroy his campaign. (Polls currently place Moore ahead of Doug Jones, his Democratic opponent.)
But at least two of Moore’s accusers—Beverly Nelson and Leigh Corfman—voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and have noted explicitly that their motivations for coming forward were not political.
“I am not getting paid for speaking up. I am not getting rewarded from your political opponents,” Corfman wrote in a letter. “What I am getting is stronger by refusing to blame myself and speaking the truth out loud.”
Though murmurs of approval rang throughout the church during Moore’s sermon, one vocal dissenter broke through. According to Buzzfeed:
On Wednesday, as Moore continued to defend himself against “false attacks,” a person in the crowd broke in and asked about the sexual harassment claims. “The entire time, all the girls are lying?” the man shouted while Moore tried to continue his speech. “Why would they lie?”
The protester was promptly removed.