People For the American Way is calling on Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Mike Huckabee and Gov. Bobby Jindal to withdraw from a conference in Iowa next month hosted by a far-right pastor who has defended capital punishment for homosexuality and who has blamed forest fires on women who wear pants.
People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch has documented the long history of extreme anti-gay, anti-women rhetoric from Kevin Swanson, the Colorado activist and pastor who is organizing next month’s “National Religious Liberties Conference” in Des Moines, which event organizers say Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal are scheduled to attend.
“We already knew that the Republican Party opposed LGBT rights and women’s equality, but this is taking things to a new level,” said People For the American Way President Michael Keegan. “We can respectfully disagree on matters of public policy, but someone who supports gay people being put to death should have no place in our public discourse, much less be sharing the stage with a major party’s presidential candidates.”
“If Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal are serious about wanting to hold the nation’s highest office,” Keegan said, “they should back out of this conference and denounce the extremism of its organizer.”
Swanson’s wild extremism includes:
- Defending a Ugandan measure to make homosexuality a criminal offense punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty, saying he was glad the country was “standing strong” by adopting extreme anti-gay laws.
- Explaining that “a Christian perspective ultimately brought the death penalty upon homosexuality.”
- Urging people to hold up signs telling gay couples to die on their wedding day.
- Claiming that flooding and forest fires in Colorado were the result of “decadent homosexual activity” and women wearing pants.
- Saying that Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina were divine punishments of “pro-homosexual” cities.
- Insisting that “God’s laws require that we prosecute homosexuals who are caught in the act of homosexuality.”
- Claiming that women who use birth control have “little tiny fetuses, these little babies … embedded into the womb,” meaning that the “wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.”
- Claiming that working women hate men and their children and will destroy America.
- Saying that gonorrhea is God’s punishment for single women having sex.
- Warning that “Frozen” is a demonic movie meant to “indoctrinate my five-year-old to be a lesbian.”
- Insisting that Beyoncé is possessed by demons.