Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign announced yet another set of endorsements from Religious Right leaders yesterday, this time from a number of activists working with the anti-feminist group Eagle Forum.
The endorsers advertised by Cruz’s campaign notably do not include Eagle Forum’s founder, Phyllis Schlafly, who has not explicitly endorsed any candidate but has called Donald Trump the “last hope for America.”
But included in the list of Cruz endorsers are Schlafly’s niece and heir apparent, Anne Cori, as well as 19 other Eagle Forum leaders from 11 states.
Schlafly founded Eagle Forum in 1972 as part of her effort to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. Since then, she has expanded the organization’s focus to include not just fighting “radical feminists” and their “feminist goals of stereotyping men as a constant danger to women,” but also to opposing gay rights, immigration, U.S. involvement with the United Nations, and national curriculum standards.
The best-known Eagle Forum activist on the latest list of Cruz endorsers is Cathie Adams, a former chairwoman of the Texas GOP and longtime leader of the state’s Eagle Forum chapter, who has a record of extremism that will make her fit right in with her fellow Cruz endorsers.
Adams led a group of Texas Republicans in inserting language supporting “ex-gay” therapy into the state party’s platform in 2014, later saying that homosexuality “is NOT NORMAL behavior” and that the state must support “those individuals who choose to seek a way out of sexual perversion.” She defended the platform by insisting, “When a culture descends to a point where homosexuality is openly accepted as a normal behavior, then a society is well on its way to demise.”
In the lead-up to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, she said that the ruling “could be the end of America” and suggested that people were already fleeing states with marriage equality for states like Texas that banned gay marriage.
“Texas’ laws should be aligned with nature and nature’s God, thus protecting children from the unnatural and unhealthy lifestyles of homosexuality and bisexuality,” she wrote to members of Texas Eagle Forum in 2003. When pro-choice protesters filled the Texas capitol in 2013, she called them “feminazis” and “stinky stalking feminists.”
Adams share’s Eagle Forum’s nativist priorities, defending abstinence-only education by blaming teen pregnancy rates on Mexican immigrants with inferior “morals,” opposing the Children’s Health Insurance Program because it might benefit “illegal aliens,” and warning that the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill would lead to the biblical Mark of the Beast through biometric scanning and bring about the End Times. She once argued that anti-tax activist Grover Norquist was secretly a Muslim and working for the Muslim Brotherhood, as evidenced by the fact that “he has a beard.”
Adams has also been an enthusiastic promoter of conspiracy theories about president Obama, doing her part to promote the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory and the fear that Obama might stay in office past his second term, and suggesting that Obama’s Christian faith is not real.