Roy Moore, the Republican running for U.S. Senate in Alabama, has now been accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl and engaging in inappropriate relationships with other underage girls. None of the women making the accusations were looking for fame or revenge or even justice. They were sought out by a hardworking reporter from the Washington Post who was merely following the rumors that popped up everywhere she went. Moore’s predilection for young girls was an open secret in Alabama. No one cared. The people of Alabama enthusiastically sent Moore to represent them on their state supreme court and, even after he was removed from the court for failure to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, they elected him as their preferred candidate to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.
Roy Moore is a proud racist, homophobic, anti-Muslim, birther conspiracy theorist nut job. I can’t muster up too much surprise that he might also be a pedophile and that he is most certainly a creepy old man. Neither can the people of Alabama, but I assure you it won’t stop them from electing this man to represent them once again. People calling for Moore to step down might as well save their breath. Moore is not that guy. He will not fade away. I guarantee he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. We’re already hearing laughable defenses from his colleagues and I suspect they got these lines from good ol’ Roy Moore himself. Moore has a long history of twisting the Bible to fit his narrative, so this comment from Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler sounds like something straight from the Roy Moore playbook:
“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
Take a minute and let that sink in. Does Zeigler imagine the world would be a better place if young teenagers were forced to marry old men and give birth in a barn?
It’s possible he really does believe that. It was only in 2003 that Alabama raised the legal age for marriage from 14 to 16. It was a contentious issue at the time. Parents whose daughters turned up pregnant often forced the girls to marry the men who’d gotten them pregnant. Alabama’s laws were so lenient that people from neighboring states brought their children to Alabama for these forced marriages. How’s that for honeymoon tourism?
Now Alabama’s child marriage rate is high, but not nearly as high as Texas and West Virginia. These two states have been duking it out for the number one spot for years. New Jersey isn’t far behind. In fact when the New Jersey legislature passed a bill setting the marriage age to 18, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it. Christie also apparently believes that there are some cases in which a person who isn’t allowed to legally drink, vote, join the Army, or represent herself in a court of law, ought to go ahead and marry the man who impregnated her. It’s easy to understand why men would want to hang on to this option. If the girl doesn’t marry the man, he could be charged with statutory rape. A forced marriage gives him legal cover for his crimes.
So anyone who imagines Roy Moore is going to step down over allegations that he forced a young girl to stroke his penis, is delusional. If she hadn’t gotten scared and asked him to take her home, she’d probably be his wife.
He won’t step down. He won’t apologize. He doesn’t believe he did anything wrong and plenty of powerful men agree with him. The lawmakers—if not the laws—are on his side.