Cruz
Cruz

This weekend, three Republican presidential candidates — Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal — are scheduled to speak at a conference hosted by radio host Kevin Swanson, who in the past has said he’s in favor of putting gay people to death.

Earlier this month, Swanson suggested that God gives AIDS to gay people as an act of charity.

Attendees at the National Religious Liberties Conference feel they’re being robbed of their religious freedoms left and right, particularly by the legalization of gay marriage.

In order to promote the conference, Swanson had this to say in a recent press release:

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a marked erosion of the religious liberties that were the bedrock of the founding of our country. We’re inviting Christians to be equipped for the uncertain future while celebrating the liberties God has provided our nation over the centuries.”

Jindal
Jindal

One of these Christians is former Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, a man who insists he was fired from the Air Force for his staunch liberal beliefs. (As Salon reports, Monk in actuality refused to reprimand a staff sergeant who was pushing his anti-gay beliefs onto training recruits, and was fired in consequence.)

Scheduled speakers are a veritable Who’s Who of antigay crusaders: the rampantly homophobic Benham brothers David and Jason, who infamously lost their show on HGTV due to previous antigay comments; Betty and Dick Odgaard, who refused to let their chapel be used for gay weddings and launched a lurid antigay billboard campaign this summer; and “Sweet Cakes By Melissa” owners Aaron and Melissa Klein, who made headlines by refusing to make a lesbian couple a wedding cake. To name but a few.

Swanson, a main organizer, has previously sung the praises of Uganda for their laws that could lead to executions for homosexuality. He’s quick to warn of “God’s judgement” coming down on “civilizations.”

Right Wing Watch reports that two pastors scheduled to speak at the conference are unyielding theocrats who think laws should be based on the Bible.

Huckabee
Huckabee

Phil Kayser and Joel McDurmon share this in common with Kevin Swanson: They’ve both gone on the record to claim that homosexuality should be punishable by death.

McDurmon will be hosting a workshop at the conference this weekend called “Crushing Leviathan: Biblical Principles to Break Free of the Modern Inquisition.”

Ted Cruz’s father, virulently antigay pastor Rafael Cruz, will be speaking as well. Rafael’s beliefs are so over the top that Ted has occasionally tried to distance himself from his father, but the fact that both are participating in the event demonstrates that their viewpoints are all-too similar.

As Salon observes, an overarching theme of Cruz’s campaign for president rides on the notion that Christians are being oppressed left and right and invoking the idea of “religious liberty” every chance he gets.

By participating in this conference, Cruz — along with Huckabee and Jindal — shamelessly sides with a lion’s den of fundamentalists and theocrats.

H/t: LGBTQ Nation

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