Even as the GOP civil war rages, the efforts to pander to bigots and win votes by fanning hate by Republican presidential candidates also continues. Not counting Donald Trump and his cozy relations ship with white supremacy groups and the KKK is Ted Cruz who has formed a ludicrously named "religious liberty" advisory panel filled with hate group leaders, anti-gay theocrats and Christian dominionists. Obviously, Cruz's idea of religious liberty is a Christian theocracy. Once again we see that Paul Ryan's claim that the GOP doesn't prey on people's prejudices is bullshit. Oh, and by the way, Marco Rubio, a/k/a Marcobot has formed a similar Christofascist advisory board. Here are details from The Advocate:
Republican presidential aspirant Ted Cruz has formed a “religious liberty” council for his campaign, filled with antigay activists including Tony Perkins, the Benham brothers, and Bishop Harry Jackson.
The council “seems intent on undermining LGBT rights,” the Washington Blade reports. Cruz announced the council’s formation Monday, the day before he won three of Super Tuesday’s 11 state Republican primaries and caucuses.
Cruz’s press release on the council didn’t mention LGBT issues, but it was clear that the council, which has the task of guiding his policies, would sympathize with government workers and business owners who don’t want to serve LGBT clients, especially same-sex couples seeking marriage-related goods and services.
“Increasingly, renegade government officials seek to coerce people of faith either to act in a manner that violates their faith or forfeit their career,” Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, said in the release. “When I am elected president, that will change.”
Perkins’s group, by the way, has been designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center, because of the damaging misinformation it spreads.
The Benham brothers, David and Jason, are real estate entrepreneurs who in 2014 saw their planned reality show scrapped by HGTV after outcry against their antigay views. Among other things, they have claimed that “homosexuality and its agenda” are “attacking the nation” and thatSatan is behind marriage equality. Their father, Flip Benham, is head of Operation Save America, an antigay and antichoice group that split off from Operation Rescue.
Jackson, a minister in the Washington, D.C., metro area, was a leading opponent of marriage equality in D.C. After the district adopted a marriage equality law in 2009, he sued — unsuccessfully — in an attempt to force a popular vote on the issue. He also has made antigay remarks such as “Folks who cannot reproduce want to recruit your kids.” Find the full list of the advisory council’s members here.
Another Republican presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, has formed a similar advisory group, with members including megachurch minister Rick Warren and lawyers with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group that often fights LGBT rights.
I find Ted Cruz to be very, very scary.