News & Politics

No, Roy Moore Doesn’t Think Women Are Incapable of Holding Public Office

Contrary to the reaction to a report about the Alabama Senate candidate's past writings.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Henagar, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Social media has been ablaze since Wednesday with claims that Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in Alabama’s US Senate election, believes government roles are best left to men. The outrage stems from a report by ThinkProgress revealing that Moore was listed as a “featured speaker” in a 2011 study course hosted by Vision Forum, a Texas evangelical organization that has since shut down.

During the course, another featured speaker, William Einwechter, lectured that women are unfit for elected office, and if nominated, Christians have an obligation not to vote for them.

“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,” Einwechter said in his lesson, titled “What the Bible Says About Female Magistrates.” Continued Einwechter’s lecture: “Nothing is said in scripture that supports the notion that she is qualified or called to be a civil magistrate.”

But the outrage, which went from Moore’s Twitter critics to his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, is misplaced: Moore does, in fact, believe women have the right to hold public office, according to his campaign.

ThinkProgress’s deeply-reported piece makes clear that Moore himself didn’t argue that women shouldn’t hold office, merely that his name appeared in the course packet alongside Einwechter’s. But Jones still released a statement that said “Alabamians are learning [Moore] doesn’t even think women should run for office.” And folks on Twitter have eagerly pushed that narrative:

In a statement to Washingtonian, a Moore campaign spokeswoman said that Moore has never endorsed this view. She added that if elected, Moore would confirm President Trump‘s judicial nominees—even if they’re women.

“Judge Moore has never stated or believed that women are unqualified for public office,” the spokeswoman said. “Judge Moore believes that men and women are created equal and he would absolutely confirm qualified, constitutionally conservative judges—men or women.”

Staff Writer

Elaina Plott joined Washingtonian in June 2016 as a staff writer. She has written about her past life as an Ann Coulter fangirl, how the Obamas changed Washington, and the rise and fall of Roll Call. She previously covered Congress for National Review. Her writing has appeared in the New York Observer, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar.