After allegations Roy Moore sexually harassed underage girls when he was an Alabama prosecutor, a rising tide of voices have called for the Republican Senate candidate to step aside. Surprisingly, Speaker of the House Mitch McConnell is among those voices.
“I think he should step aside,” McConnell said in a statement Monday: “I believe the women, yes.”
Senator Cory Gardner, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee called Moore “unfit to serve “If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.”
Others, though, have rallied behind Moore, who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court, including Sean Hannity and Jerry Falwell, who said he believed Moore when he called the allegations “completely false and misleading.” Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler told the Washington Examiner “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” while state legislator Ed Henry says Moore’s accusers should be prosecuted.
But one lawmaker is telling those guys to zip it: “I hate to say this, but men need to shut up defending him and listen to the women’s pain,” says Patricia Todd, the only openly LGBT person in the Alabama statehouse.
“The cover seems to be ‘if it is true’ and I am so disappointed in my Republican peers who continue to support him,” Todd (D- Birmingham) told the Washington Examiner. “We have seen this too many times, a so-called Christian falling from that pedestal.”
The allegations date back to the late 70s, when one alleged victim was 14, and others were between 16 and 18. A fifth woman came forward on Monday, claiming Moore grabbed her neck and tried to force her head down to his crotch when she was just 16.
Moore dismisses the claims as “fake news” and his accusers as liars. But Ford says, “We are witnessing women finding their voice and shouting together for change.”
She’s been active fighting against a measure that would allow adoption and foster agencies to reject prospective parents because they’re gay. “What your vote says to me—if you vote for this bill—is that Patricia Todd is not qualified to be a fit paren based on the fact that I love a woman, not based on what is the best placement for the child.”
In the past Moore has dismissed Todd as a “liberal lesbian legislator.”