Equality For All

Roy Moore Struggles To Explain Legal Difference Between Interracial And Same-Sex Marriage Bans

Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was a guest on Eagle Forum Live over the weekend, where he discussed the recent developments in marriage equality with Anne Cori, Phyllis Schlafly’s niece.

Moore seemed to be thrown a little off guard when a listener called in and asked angrily why “people use the 14th Amendment to protect interracial marriage when the authors of the 14th Amendment were against interracial marriage.” (The Supreme Court has found bans on both same-sex and interracial marriages to be violations of the 14th Amendment.)

Cori interrupted the caller and asked Moore to instead address people who say “you have to agree with same-sex marriage because interracial marriage is okay.”

The difference, Moore said, is that the right to the “pursuit of happiness” found in the Declaration of Independence came from God and God supports interracial marriage but not same-sex marriage.

“I think people today would say that same-sex marriage is a pursuit of happiness,” Cori interjected.

“Well, they would say that, but that’s not the way the laws of God define the pursuit of happiness,” Moore responded. “And pursuit of happiness was given by God and recognized by the United States Supreme Court in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia.”

Of course, interracial marriage opponents at the time were quite certain that God opposed interracial marriage, which had lower levels of public support at the time Loving was decided than same-sex marriage does today.

Steve Deace's Only Comfort Is That Kim Davis' Conservative Critics Will Go To Hell

Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace invited influential state conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats on his program last week to discuss Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who had just been released from jail after refusing to allow her office to follow the law and issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Vander Plaats was very proud of himself that all of his warnings about gay marriage destroying religious liberty had come true, telling Deace, “Our team said to me today, they said, ‘Bob, you ought to feel like you’re prophetic in some of this stuff.’”

Deace, meanwhile, had nothing but contempt for Republican politicians and conservative activists who failed to defend Davis’ lawbreaking.

“Beware of those in a culture war who write, you know, really principled and highly intellectual thought pieces for conservative or Christian outlets, and then in a time of crisis and confrontation like this, they say, oh this is not the right hill to die on,” he fumed. “What they really mean, Bob, is there’s never a right time to stand for anything nor is there ever any hill to die on. And these are the people, they’re going to hold the jail cell open for us when the Marxists throw us inside too.”

He added that his only comfort was that those conservatives are on their way to Hell: “It reminds me of the famous quote from Dante, that the hottest places in Hell are reserved for these kind of cowardly quislings. And I’ll just flat-out say it on the radio, the mere thought of that comforts me. The mere thought of that statement being true comforts me, because it confirms that God is just and they have received their award in full.”

“And judgment is mine, declares the Lord,” Vander Plaats added. “And so therefore we’re glad we serve a just God.”

Larry Pratt: Arrest Judge Who Found Kim Davis In Contempt

Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt called last week for the arrest of Judge David Bunning, the Bush-nominated federal judge who held Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in contempt after she repeatedly defied court orders to let her office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Pratt told Sam Bushman of the far-right “Liberty Roundtable” radio program on Wednesday, “This district court judge merely withdrew his horns, they haven’t been cut off. And we’re not finished until we can cut that district judge Bunning’s horns off.”

“In fact, he’s the one who should be put in jail for violating his oath of office,” Bushman said.

“Thank you!” Pratt responded.

“It’s an assault on the Constitution,” Pratt added of Bunning’s decision to detain Davis for five days, “it’s something that Joseph Stalin could only have dreamed about, and here we’re doing it to ourselves. It’s really incredible. We have lawyers like this Judge Bunning that are so ignorant of this American republican system that they don’t seem to know their left hand from their right.”

"Either they’re so ignorant and they don’t know," Bushman replied, "or they have hatred and contempt to where they think they are superior, judge, jury and execution is what it turns out to be, they just didn’t get to execute Kim because we all came to her defense."

On the same program, former sheriff and Oath Keepers member Denny Peyman echoed Pratt’s call for Bunning’s arrest.

UPDATE: In a phone call, Bushman told us that he didn't mean to imply that Judge Bunning wanted to execute Kim Davis, but was merely playing off the phrase "judge, jury and executioner" in describing a judiciary that he told us is trying to "concentrate all power." Bushman also objected to the use of the term "far-right" to describe his program, telling us he'd prefer the description, “American that believes in and wants to promote God, family and country and wants to protect life, liberty and property and believes and advocates that this nation shall endure.”

Kim Davis Declines Oath Keepers' Offer Of Armed Guard

Yesterday, we reported that the Oath Keepers, a "Patriot" movement group best known for the standoff at the Bundy Ranch and for showing up heavily armed to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, was converging on Kentucky to offer a "security detail" to anti-gay clerk Kim Davis to protect her from further arrest for refusing to do her job and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Now, almost as soon as they arrived, the Oath Keepers are packing up and going home. Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes writes in an email to members today that Davis, through her attorneys at the Religious Right legal group Liberty Counsel, has (probably wisely) declined their offer of assistance. He encourages members to save their gas money for another mission, such as "our planned upcoming operation to guard Texas border ranches against drug cartel violence and invasion":

Upon request by Kim Davis' legal team, Oath Keepers is canceling the planned security detail for Mrs. Davis in Morehead, Kentucky.

Oath Keepers has been contacted by Kim Davis' legal team at Liberty Counsel, and they have, on her behalf, declined our offer of assistance in protecting her from a possible repeat incarceration by Federal District Court judge David Bunning. We will, of course, respect her wishes, and are hereby issuing a stand-down for our security volunteers who were planning on deploying to Morehead, Kentucky on Monday.

Oath Keepers will NOT be conducting a security detail for Mrs. Davis.  We always seek the full consent and cooperation of anyone we protect, and we must respect their wishes if they decline that protection. Anyone who was planning on going to Morehead, KY to serve on the security detail are now asked to not do so. We do thank you most sincerely for your willingness to step up, as unpaid volunteers, in defense of due process.   That was a very honorable intent, and we commend you.

This is a free country, and of course you are free to still go there on Monday and peaceably assemble to express your support for her due process rights and your opposition to arbitrary arrest if you want to, but Oath Keepers will not be conducting a security detail, and she apparently does not want anyone else to do so. Therefore, we encourage you to save your gas money and time off work for another security detail, at another time (such as for our planned upcoming operation to guard Texas border ranches against drug cartel violence and invasion).

We have not talked to Mrs. Davis directly, and therefore we don't know her reasoning or ultimate intent, but we do note that civil disobedience where the person is willing to allow themselves to be unlawfully arrested and are willing to go to jail to make a point, is a time honored, respectable, and honorable American tradition going back to Henry David  Thoreau.  We must respect that if it turns out to be her chosen strategy.  There is more than one way to skin a cat, and such non-resistant civil-disobedience can be a powerful tool in resisting tyranny.  Or it may be that she is confident of making an accommodation.   We don't know, but regardless we will respect her wishes and stay out of it.

Rhodes ends with a "special message to our critics":

As for the many harsh critics of our offer to protect Mrs. Davis, it is frankly sad that so many Americans cannot understand taking a stand in defense of someone's due process rights regardless of who that person is, what they stand for, or what they are accused of doing or have done.   That should not matter, and all that should matter is our common ground of the Bill of Rights and the hard-won rights of due process and in particular jury trial.   As I told one person who wrote in:

You can't see past your opposition to what she did long enough to see our point about due process and the dangers of having judges use their contempt power like a magic wand to put people into indefinite detention till they submit.  Please try to focus on the due process rights of the accused, not on the particular crime.   I would, and have, stood up for the due process rights or anyone, regardless of the accusations made against them.  I did so during the Bush Admin, when I stood up for the due process rights of Yasir Hamdi and Jose Padila, both of whom are Muslim Americans who were held in indefinite detention by Bush.  I also stood up for the due process rights of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.   And the paper I wrote at Yale Law about that won Yale's top prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights.  But that was during the Bush years, and was a harsh criticism of what a Republican was doing to Muslims. so the leftist professors at Yale ate it up.
Now, with the shoe on the other foot, leftists are apparently as blind to the bedrock issues of due process for someone they despise - Davis - as the Bush supporters were when it came to someone they despised - Jose Padilla and Yasir Hamdi.

Clearly, in America, what matters most is whether the accused is seen as a "good guy" or a "bad guy" and if seen as being bad, then there is zero concern for due process and people will clamor for expedited punishment.   I suppose that is just a reflection of human nature.  But sad nonetheless.

Now, after a cycle of the Republicans in power, and then the Democrats, with both exponentially growing the military industrial complex, national security surveillance state over us, I see that Orwell was right when he said "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."  It doesn't matter to me whether it is a right boot or a left boot.  Or whether you think the person being smashed deserves it.  I oppose it.  - Stewart

Tony Perkins' Surprisingly Apt Kim Davis Analogy

The Religious Right activists who frequently claim that they are simply seeking to “live and let live” in a country that increasingly favors LGBT rights and other social progress sometimes compare themselves to the Pilgrims, citing the historical myth that the American concept of religious liberty originated with early Puritan governments.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made this argument on his “Washington Watch” radio program today in response to a caller who claimed that the arrest of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who attempted to bar her entire office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, portends laws making it “illegal to pray in the military” and is reminiscent of Nazi “legislation trying to annihilate the Jews.”

“It’s just kind of sad that if you have religious beliefs you can’t be an elected official,” the caller said.

Perkins agreed, attacking the “intentional” “misconception” that “religious liberty is simply the freedom to pick the church of your choice” rather than the freedom of people like Kim Davis to impose their religious views on everyone else.

“Do you really think that William Bradford and the Pilgrims came to America, to this land, seeking just to move their church membership because they couldn’t find a church that they really liked there in England or Holland, where they were before they came back to England?” he asked. “I don’t think so. And, in fact, they had religious freedom in Holland but they didn’t have the ability to build community and a framework to live under based on their religious freedom. That’s why they risked it all to come to what we now know as the United States of America.”

“They came here for the same thing that Kim Davis is asking for,” he said, “religious freedom. Not freedom of worship, but the freedom of religion.”

Perkins may have accidentally made the perfect Kim Davis analogy. The Puritans traveled to Plymouth Colony after a stint in Holland where, as historian Robert Tracy McKenzie notes, they “encountered a religious tolerance almost unheard of in that day and age.” In America, he writes, “they hoped to live by themselves, enjoy the same degree of religious liberty and earn a ‘better and easier’ living.” In doing so, they set up a theocracy, where, as PBS writes, they sought “religious freedom—but only for themselves.”

Perkins is absolutely right that Kim Davis and her supporters are seeking something similar to what the Pilgrims sought in the 17th century : not the freedom of religion, but a religious state, governed by them.

FRC Official: Call Gay Marriage 'Garriage' And Lesbian Marriage 'Larriage'

Pat Fagan, the director of the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religious Research Institute, suggested yesterday that marriage equality opponents start referring to gay men’s marriages as “garriage” and lesbians’ marriages as “larriage,” with the overarching term for “homosexual marriage” being “harriage.”

Fagan made his proposal in a question to Ryan T. Anderson, the marriage equality opponent who was presenting on his new book “Truth Overruled” at FRC’s office.

"A proposal," Fagan said, "something along this line, that we in the pro-family movement start using related terms, but keep ‘marriage’ for what it always was. So we might call — and this is to be worked out — but something like, if you're talking about gay marriage you call it ‘garriage.’ If it’s lesbian, you call it 'larriage.' If you want a generic homosexual marriage it’s ‘harriage.’ But getting these words into use I think is key. And that will take time, but whomever holds the language ultimately holds the whole game.”

Anderson, who has been doing his best to soften the public face of opposition to marriage equality, politely told Fagan that while his “broader point” was “exactly right,” his “only concern with the three terms that you suggest is how will that be heard by other people?”

H/T reader Erik

Oath Keepers Send Armed Guards To Protect Kim Davis From US Marshals

The Oath Keepers, the anti-government “Patriot” group that mounted an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management at the Bundy Ranch, stationed armed guards outside of military recruitment centers after the Chattanooga shooting, and unsettled Ferguson protestors when they showed up carrying assault weapons, is now offering anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis a “security detail” to protect her from further arrest if she continues to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes announced yesterday that he had reached out to Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel to offer the protection of his group, which he says is already forming a presence in Rowan County, Kentucky, where Davis was recently released from jail after prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses. Rhodes said in a statement that his position has nothing to do with gay marriage, but rather his conviction that Davis had been illegally detained by the federal judge who held her in contempt for violating multiple court orders.

In a phone call with former Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny Peyman and other local Oath Keepers activists, Rhodes said that he was on his way to Kentucky to help with the Davis operation. Although the group had originally intended to picket outside the home of the judge who held Davis in contempt, he said, they had changed their plan when she was released on Tuesday.

Rhodes said that the Rowan County sheriff should have blocked U.S. Marshals from detaining Davis, but since neither the sheriff nor the state’s governor will do their “job” and “intercede” on behalf of Davis, the Oath Keepers will have to do it instead. “As far as we’re concerned, this is not over,” he said, “and this judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to. If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.”

Peyman suggested that he meet with the Rowan County sheriff to “educate him” on his responsibility to block the actions of the federal courts, but in the meantime, Rhodes said, “our guys are already there and more coming” and they are ready to “lead by example” by preventing Davis from being arrested again.

When Rhodes asked Peyman what he would have done if he were sheriff of Rowan County when Davis was detained, Peyman said he would have stopped the arrest.

“This is exactly the kind of thing that our Founding Fathers dealt with when dealing with the magistrates and the officers of the crown who wanted to run roughshod over the rights of the colonists without a jury indictment, without any of that,” Rhodes declared. “Same thing. They’re going to show their power and show you who’s boss.”

Although Rhodes's anti-government extremism doesn't always align with the Religious Right, his rhetoric on Davis not far from that of the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, who said that U.S. Marshals and county prison officials should have refused to participate in Davis' detention because they have no obligation to follow “laws that have no moral foundation that are actually in contradiction to moral law and truth.”

UPDATE: Rhodes reports that Davis, through her Liberty Counsel attorneys, has declined Oath Keepers' offer and he has ordered members of his group to "stand down."

This post has been corrected to note that Peyman is the former sheriff of Jackson County.

Kim Davis Attorney: Marriage Equality Will Bar All Christians From Public Office

Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel and the attorney representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her effort to bar her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claimed yesterday that if Davis doesn’t get her way then Christians will be effectively barred from holding all public offices.

Interviewing Staver on his “Washington Watch” program, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that he was “very disappointed” in Republicans who have suggested that Davis resign from her position if she is unwilling to perform a major part of her job.

“That would establish a reverse religious test where if you hold an orthodox religious view of marriage, you would be barred from holding public office,” Perkins said.

Staver agreed with Perkins, noting that Davis “believes God called her” to run for clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky.

“But if what we do is follow the advice of some of these Republican candidates that say she needs to resign, well what does that mean?” he asked. “That means that Kim Davis and anyone else who is an elected official … that means you have to check your faith at the ballot box. And once you’re elected, you have to change your faith, put it aside, transgress it, you cannot have your conscience accommodated. ‘No more Christians need to run for office,’ that’s essentially the message, and if you’re in office you need to resign your post immediately. Now what kind of America is that? It’s certainly not the America that the Founders envisioned and I don’t think it’s the kind of America that most people want.”

“It won’t stop with this issue, Mat,” Perkins warned. “It will be something else next. This is the time to stand and exercise our religious freedom lest we lose that religious freedom.”

Staver claimed that Davis was merely seeking the “simple accommodation” that her name be removed from marriage licenses in the county — a new line from the attorney who has been urging public officials to defy the marriage equality decision lest they run afoul of God’s law .

Davis, he said, is the first of many Christians who will be jailed “for their religious beliefs” thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision.

“This is a tragedy, it’s the first Christian jailed since the decision of the Supreme Court on June 26 on marriage,” he said. “But unfortunately, Tony, as you and I fear, I don't think this is going to be the last Christian jailed for their religious beliefs and conscience that collide with this issue of same-sex marriage.”

“No, not as long as there are Christians who are willing to live their lives according to their faith,” Perkins agreed, “and there are a lot of them out there.”

Bobby Jindal: 'If You Disagree With Gay Marriage, They Put You In Jail'

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana claimed yesterday that people are being put in jail in the U.S. because they “disagree with gay marriage,” even as Hillary Clinton remains “one email away from going to jail.”

When Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway asked Jindal about Clinton’s apology for use of a private email server while at the State Department, the Republican presidential candidate replied, “I thought she was apologizing for this failed foreign policy, I thought she was apologizing for Benghazi, for failing to stand with Israel, for allowing Iran to become a nuclear power. She’s got a lot to apologize for.”

Jindal contrasted Clinton with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was briefly held by U.S. Marshals when she was found in contempt of court for barring her office from issuing marriage licenses, which he claimed shows that you can be put in jail if “you disagree with gay marriage.” (Back in 2009, Jindal took a very different tack with a justice of the peace who cited his personal beliefs in refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, demanding that the official lose his job.)

“Here’s where we are in our country today,” he said. “If you disagree with gay marriage, they put you in jail, as you see what happened in Kentucky, and yet if you mishandle national security information you’re allowed to run for president. It’s a crazy, crazy world we live in.”

Boykin: God Will Judge Gay-Affirming Pastors For Keeping People In 'Aberrant Lifestyle'

Jerry Boykin, the retired Army general who got in trouble during the Bush administration for framing the wars in the Middle East as a Holy War between Christianity and Islam, is now the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, where he applies his fire-and-brimstone approach to theology to issues ranging from foreign policy to LGBT rights.

In a speech to FRC’s “Watchmen on the Wall” pastors’ event in Dallas last week, Boykin delivered a fiery appeal to conservative pastors to continue leading the fight against LGBT rights after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, in the form of “spiritual warfare” that he said would require bravery like those of his men on a failed mission to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980.

Pastors who “compromise” on LGBT rights, he warned, will be judged by God “for what they’ve done to confuse the people in this country” and keep them in “an aberrant lifestyle.”

These gay-affirming pastors, he said, just want an “easy way out” because “they don’t want to fight, they’re not warriors, they don’t have the courage.”

Boykin, who has previously said that Jesus was a real “man’s man” who will return carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, told the Watchmen pastors that Christ will come back “riding a white horse, wearing a blood-stained white robe, leading a mighty army with a sword coming out of his mouth to destroy his enemies” and will be covered with “the blood of his enemies,” ready to "slay those who have stood against him and his kingdom."

Perkins: Obama Shook His 'Fist In The Face Of God' With White House Rainbow Light Display

Last week, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins convened an emergency meeting of his “Watchmen on the Wall” pastors’ group to address “the aftermath of the seismic Supreme Court ruling on marriage.” Perkins told the group gathered at a Dallas Baptist church that thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision, “we are at a moment of urgency unprecedented in the history of this country.”

Perkins told the story of King Uzziah, who according to the Book of Chronicles, ruled competently over Judah until he became proud and attempted to burn incense in the Temple, something only priests were allowed to do. Ultimately, the priests stopped Uzziah and God smote him with leprosy, he was ostracized and died.

Perkins, he said, was struck by the “parallel between Judah under King Uzziah and America under Barack Obama.”

“What struck me was that on the eve of this Supreme Court decision, on June the 26th, if you watched the news you saw that the president had bathed the White House in the colors of the so-called gay pride,” he said. “The parallel between the pride of Uzziah and the pride of our national leader shaking his fist in the face of God was stark and alarming.”

Like the priests in Chronicles, he said, American pastors today have the duty to stand up to such heresy, even if it means going to jail, which he said is possible.

“I know many have talked to me, saying, ‘As pastors are we going to face prison, are we going to face jail, Are we going to be forced to do same-sex marriages?’” he said. “That may come if we fail to act today, but the greater threat is to the men and women sitting in your pews every Sunday morning.”

He urged pastors to “encourage your people to stand firm in the faith” even when that means facing a “reverse religious test” in which they aren’t allowed to use their religious beliefs as a reason to discriminate against LGBT people in the public square.

RNC Rep: If Gays Are Born That Way, Why Do They 'Recruit' Kindergartners?

Iowa Religious Right activist and state RNC committeewoman Tamara Scott invited Summit Ministries founder David Noebel onto her “Truth for Our Time” radio program last week, where the two discussed how, in Noebel’s words, teaching tolerance for LGBT people in schools amounts to “child molestation" and the LGBT rights movement wants to "destroy Christianity."

Scott shared a number of thoughts of her own on the issue, telling Noebel she would “confront hypocrisy” on the left even though she risked a “social jihad” in response to her comments.

Making clear for “all those haters out there” that she was just “asking the question,” Scott asked listeners to ponder this during a commercial break: “If homosexuality is something to be celebrated by the left, by Hollywood, then why does it need all of these protections? And if it needs these protections, then why do we promote it as an everyday lifestyle and a regular choice for our youth?”

After the break, she rephrased the question: “If homosexuality is truly just something that happens, then why, one, do we have to recruit it in our kindergarten through college-level educational system and, if it’s just an everyday thing, why does it need all these special protections in the civil rights?”

Scott also complained to Noebel that “it’s the left and the progressives who are always throwing the cards, whether it’s the black card, the sex card, the female card, the war on women,” saying that liberals are hypocritical to want gender equality when they are also fighting for transgender rights.

“They want 50 percent male and female [in the House and Senate] by the year 2020,” she said. “Well, my thought is, how can you do that? You don’t even want to call somebody a sex, that's a changeable thing every day.”

Noebel: Teaching Gay Tolerance In Schools Is 'Child Molestation'

Iowa Religious Right activist and state Republican Party committeewoman Tamara Scott invited Summit Ministries founder David Noebel onto her “Truth for Our Time” radio program last week, where the two agreed that the ultimate goal of the “homosexual revolution” is to “destroy Christianity.”

Gay marriage, Noebel warned, is going to “affect everything,” pointing out that even before the Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality, children in public schools were learning about the existence of gay people, which he said amounts to “child molestation.”

“They were already down in kindergarten, first, second and third grades teaching the younger innocents,” he said, “And you talk about child molestation. This, to me, was child molestation. When you start teaching first-, second- and third-graders about the glories and wonders of the homosexual lifestyle, you know you’ve got a problem.”

Lamenting that “the Obama administration put a flaming homosexual in charge of a good portion of our public education,” he warned that “this is very serious stuff.”

“The game plan is to destroy Christianity,” he concluded, to Scott’s agreement. “That’s the game plan. Because they contend that Christianity has been very tough on the homosexuals for 2,000 years and now it’s time to get back at the whole thing and show them who’s really boss. So we’re in a very explosive cultural revolution.”

He added that he wasn’t sure if Western civilization could “survive another generation.”

Cruz: 'Liberal Fascism' Seeks 'To Persecute, To Punish, To Fine' Any Christian Who Opposes Gay Marriage

On Friday, Ted Cruz held a "Rally for Religious Liberty" in Iowa where the Republican presidential hopeful showcased a handful of Christians who have supposedly been persecuted for their religious beliefs and opposition to gay marriage.

Prior to the event, Cruz sat down with Ed Berliner on Newsmax to discuss the issue, which Cruz blamed on "liberal fascism" which has a "hatred and intolerance for Christians."

Berliner asked Cruz how he planned to bring both sides together when the Republican Party has a reputation that it "does not like homosexuals, that you are anti-gay" and that it supports anti-gay discrimination. Cruz, predictably, refused to address that issue, insisting simply that "I'm a Christian and Scripture commands Christians to love everybody" before declaring that the real issue is the supposed government persecution of people of faith.

After absurdly asserting that Christian business owners should not have to provide services to a gay couple any more than a Muslim imam should be forced to conduct a Jewish wedding, Cruz blamed it all on "liberal fascists" who hate freedom and American values.

"What we're seeing now," he said, "is this liberal fascism and intolerance where their object is to persecute, to punish, to fine any Bible-following Christian or believer that believes in the biblical definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. And that is profoundly inconsistent with who we are as Americans."

Berliner then again attempted to get Cruz to explain how, while holding such a position, he could ever hope to convince gay activists that he doesn't hate them, and again Cruz wasn't interested in answering that question.

"There are some activists who, frankly, manifest a hatred and intolerance for Christians, who are persecuting Christians," Cruz said. "That is unfortunate. As I said, I think we should love everybody."

Cruz then went on to declare that religious liberty was "the foundational right upon which this nation was built and, for I, am proud to stand with these heroes gathered tonight to defend religious liberty."

Over Half Of NOM's Anti-Gay Campaign In Maine Came From Megadonor Sean Fieler

The National Organization for Marriage today released a list of donors to its successful 2009 campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law, revealing that one activist, New York hedge fund manager and social conservative megadonor, almost single-handedly funded the effort.

NOM revealed the source of the $2 million that it funneled to Stand for Marriage Maine to fight the marriage equality law after a court found that NOM had attempted to “shield its donors and skirt Maine’s donor disclosure law.” According to the Portland Press Herald, NOM’s $2 million in contributions made up approximately two-thirds of Stand for Marriage Maine’s budget for the campaign.

According to NOM’s filing, only one major donor to its Maine campaign lived in the state, and $1.25 million of its funding — nearly half of the total ultimately spent by Stand for Marriage Maine — came from Fieler.

We have written in the past about the quiet influence that Fieler is exerting over social conservative causes. His Chiaroscuro Foundation dispenses millions of dollars each year to anti-gay and anti-abortion groups. Fieler is also the chairman of the board of the American Principles Project, a group founded by former NOM chairman Robert George and employing former NOM president Maggie Gallagher that seeks to move Republicans to the right on social issues. In addition to being the major financial backer of APP’s affiliated PAC, Fieler has personally contributed to 77 candidates in 19 states since 2008, according to an RH Reality Check analysis.

Through the Chiaroscuro Foundation, Fieler has also funded the research of Mark Regnerus , author of a discredited study on gay and lesbian parents that continues to be cited by anti-gay activists around the world.

Although NOM’s 2009 campaign was successful, just three years later the statevoted to institute marriage equality. As NOM’s mission has been faltering, so has its fundraising, making Fieler’s one-man social conservative funding shop ever more important for the group and its allies.

Ted Cruz to Jan Mickelson: 'Atheist Taliban' Attacking Religious Liberty

This morning, just two days after Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson caused a national controversy when he suggested that states enslave undocumented immigrants who refuse to leave, asking, “What’s wrong with slavery?,” Sen. Ted Cruz joined Mickelson’s program to discuss his upcoming rally in Iowa which will bring together various supposed victims of anti-Christian persecution.

Mickelson asked Cruz to discuss his fight against the “brazenness of the atheist Taliban” and the fact that “anytime they furrow their brow at anyone [people] fold up and go home and give them what they want.”

Cruz, who has previously railed against what he called a gay “jihad" against Christians, apparently liked Mickelson’s phrase, and took it up while describing his work fighting against church-state separation efforts.

“There is an assault on faith and an assault on religious liberty that we see across this country and it has never been as bad as it is right now,” he said, claiming that “radical atheists and liberals” are “driving any acknowledgment of God out of the public square.”

“There are these zealots — as you put it, the atheist Taliban — that seek to tear down any acknowledgment of God in the public square, and it’s contrary to our Constitution, it’s contrary to who we are as a people.”

Sandy Rios: Liberals Bringing Soviet 'Sexual Chaos' To America

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios invited anti-marriage-equality activist Ryan Anderson onto her radio program last week to promote his new book “Truth Overruled,” written in reaction to the Obergefell decision.

Anderson repeated his lament that marriage equality is a “symptom” of the “disintegration of marriage and family” that began with “the hookup culture, the rise of premarital sex, the rise of non-marital childbearing, the rise in the divorce rate, the redefinition of divorce laws with no-fault divorce laws.”

Rios agreed, saying she had been distraught in the decades since the 1960s watching the “fabric of our morality” tear, with “everyone acting out on their own sexual whims in any way they chose, and not wanting boundaries for themselves or anybody else.”

“It’s sexual chaos," she said, "which is what the left has been proposing since a long time ago, in fact back in communist Russia, and then the Weather Underground in the ‘60s wanted to practice, smash monogamy. It was the destruction of the family. I don’t understand that, but it is absolutely their goal and they’ve really done a good job of it.”

EW Jackson: Obama Turning Military Into A 'Sexual Experiment' Because He Doesn’t Believe In America

E.W. Jackson, the Virginia pastor and GOP politician, joined Frank Gaffney on his “Secure Freedom Radio” program earlier this month, where the two discussed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and efforts to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military.

“The lesbian, transgender, bisexual military is what the president is creating for us, and it’s sad,” Jackson declared, alleging that President Obama “is much more interested in turning the military into some sort of sexual experiment than he is in making it the finest fighting force in the world.”

Gaffney asked Jackson, who now works as a Fox News contributor and Family Research Council senior fellow, if allowing LGBT people to serve openly is not just a “wrecking operation against the military” but also an effort to “do over the United States itself as a society.”

Jackson responded that Obama wants to allow LGBT people to serve in the military because he doesn’t believe in America or want the military to be effective: “I don’t think he wants the military to be militarily effective, because I don’t think he believes in it, I don’t think he believes in its mission, because, frankly, and I know this sounds extreme but it’s what I believe in my heart, I don’t think he fundamentally believes in the nature of this country or its mission.”

'What's Wrong With Slavery?' And Jan Mickelson's Other Worst Pro-Confederacy, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Gay Moments

If you are a presidential candidate, you spend a lot of time talking to people in Iowa. And if you’re a Republican, that means a lot of time on Iowa conservative radio, including popular programs hosted by right-wing activists Steve Deace and Jan Mickelson.

The fact that Deace and Mickelson have long histories of extreme rhetoric has not dissuaded Republican candidates from joining their shows. But Mickelson just upped the ante with comments he made on his program today.

Media Matters caught Mickelson proposing that undocumented immigrants in Iowa become “property of the state” and pressed into hard labor. When a listener called in to point out that Mickelson’s proposal “sounds like slavery,” Mickelson asked, “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?” Undocumented immigrants, he went on to say, are the ones who are enslaving American citizens:

It will be interesting to see if any of the GOP candidates who have been on Mickelson’s radio program recently — which, according to Media Matters’ count, includes Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal — repudiate his remarks.

But the fact is that if these candidates were concerned about Mickelson’s rhetoric, they should have stopped going on his show long ago.

When Graham appeared on his program in June, Mickelson declared his allegiance to the Confederacy, as Graham scrambled to distance himself:

Mickelson has also backed Jim Crow-type voting laws.

Today’s comments are hardly Mickelson’s first foray into anti-immigrant extremism either. He has proposed barring undocumented children from public schools and said that if someone has a Hispanic name and is involved with the police, “I assume you’re not here legally.” After an interview with anti-immigrant activist Ann Corcoran, Mickelson promised to press every candidate he had on his show to oppose the U.S. resettlement of refugees from war-torn Muslim countries, which he said was an “act of jihad.” When he asked Rand Paul about it, Paul said the U.S. shouldn’t resettle Iraqi refugees because “we won the war.”

Mickelson’s anti-gay activism includes calling AIDS an “invention” of God to punish homosexuality and agreeing with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad on the issue of homosexuality.

The Iowa talk radio host also enjoys promoting fringe right-wing conspiracy theories. Mickelson helped to bring the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory into the GOP mainstream, asking Paul on his program about the supposed federal plan to take over Texas .

And just last week, Mickelson was getting Rep. Steve King to entertain the conspiracy theory that a botched EPA mine cleanup in Colorado was a deliberate plan to pollute a river to create a Superfund site:

Republican candidates may try to avoid Mickelson’s show after today. But given their track record, we somehow doubt that they will.

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