The Group Giving Kim Davis Legal Counsel Is Even Worse Than You Imagined

Mat-Staver-Liberty-CounselKim Davis owes her notoriety to her legal enablers, Liberty Counsel, a right-wing group dedicated to the belief that having your client thrown in jail is the pinnacle of success.  The Rowan County, KY clerk was a nobody in need of a makeover until Liberty Counsel swooped in and made her the national test case for the right of government officials to ignore the law. Besides all the attention that Davis received for her time in jail, Liberty Counsel somehow snagged a meeting for Davis with Pope Francis, a PR disaster for the Vatican and a fundraising windfall for Liberty Counsel.

Liberty Counsel came by Davis easily enough. The group’s founder, Mat Staver, received his law degree from the University of Kentucky. His advice to Davis hasn’t exactly covered his alma mater in glory. A panel on Fox News said that Staver’s advice was “ridiculously stupid,” which is quite the statement to come from that media outlet.

But then again, “ridiculously stupid” would be a good motto for Liberty Counsel. So would “unabashedly loathsome.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified Liberty Counsel as a hate group.

With good reason. Staver fairly froths at the mouth when he talks about homosexuality. Some of his comments are just loony. He has described gay relationships as “notoriously harmful, physically as well as mentally.”  He has argued that hate crime laws would protect “cross dressers and pedophiles.” Nondiscrimination protections will result in “a general persecution or certainly a significant discrimination against people of faith.”

Too often, Staver is offensive and downright dangerous. He reveled in telling one Christian right gathering about an unnamed relative dying from AIDS. He’s a leading crusader for reparative therapy for kids.

Moreover, he’s one of the religious right figures who has been exporting his brand of homophobia to other countries, now that the U.S. is less fertile ground for hatred. Last year, Staver spoke to members of the Peruvian parliament, where he was presented with a medal of honor. Staver has served as legal counsel to Scott Lively, whose troubles with the law stem from his support for Uganda’s extreme antigay legislation. Just to let you know where his own loyalties lie, Staver has spoken fondly of Russia’s antigay laws.

Staver has also been closely involved in the case of Lisa Miller, the self-proclaimed ex-lesbian who defied a court order giving custody of their daughter to her former partner. For years, Miller was a key figure in Liberty Counsel’s antigay portfolio, until she apparently fled the country illegally with her daughter. A network of Liberty Counsel supporters and associates were alleged to have helped Miller, leading to a tangled case that may have contributed to Staver’s decision to step down as dean of Liberty Law School.

In light of all this, it comes as no surprise that Staver’s relationship with the truth is a bit strained. When asked about his pro-Russia comments by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen at a Congressional hearing on religious freedom laws, Staver said, “I haven’t spoken on the Russian laws.”

The casual disregard for veracity is a hallmark of Staver and Liberty Counsel. Last month Liberty Counsel was called out for circulating a photo that it purported was a gathering of 100,000 Peruvians offering their support for Davis. Needless to say, it was nothing of the kind. Staver also repeatedly claimed that the hosts of The View “were calling her a monster, calling for her to be killed.” He later said that he made a mistake. No kidding.

All of which plays into the the brouhaha over the papal meeting. Given this track record, who are you going to believe? The pope or the guy who once tried to sue a Florida library for promoting witchcraft because it gave certificates to kids who read Harry Potter books?

Still, Staver is a pal of papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, whom Staver met at an anti-marriage equality reality last spring. (Just to show you how self-contained the antigay universe is, they were introduced by long-time activist Keith Fornier, a Catholic deacon, who argues that Davis doesn’t have to follow the Supreme Court ruling because it happened after she was elected.) Staver seemed to be referring to Viganò when he said that the Vatican’s backpedaling on the Davis meeting was a sign that “somebody is trying to throw some people under the bus.”

We may never know the truth of the matter. It serves the Vatican’s cause to be ambiguous even as it sticks to its condemnation of homosexuality. What we’re left with is Staver saying that the Vatican’s story is “absolute nonsense.” One thing you can’t dispute: if anyone knows about absolute nonsense, it’s Staver.

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  • Will Glitzern

    Where are the pictures of Bitch standing with the pope?

  • Rangerboy

    Maybe throwing this guy under the bus would be a good idea!

  • Damon Robbins

    The whole bunch makes me sick!

  • Tony Chaplinski

    can a legal firm be sued for this kind of behavior ?

  • NoCagada

    GAY FACE! Especially, when there’s a dick in the mouth

  • NJjoe

    They run in packs like hungry wolves.

  • John Andrew K. Carver

    I’ve been saying this for years…

    Homophobic attitudes are more likely to found in individuals who harbour unacknowledged attraction towards the same sex, a series of psychology studies have found.

    The study, which analysed four separate experiments conducted in the US and Germany, provides empirical evidence to suggest that homophobia is in fact the ??external manifestation of repressed sexual desires they feel towards their own gender??.
    ??Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar, unrealised desires they themselves harbour,? Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study??s lead author, explained.
    The sexual orientation of participants was measured by how they reacted to words and images with sexual connotations, during a timed task.
    cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,? added co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who was involved in the study, in which about 650 university students participated.
    The study ?? which was conducted by a team from the University of Rochester, the University of Essex and the University of California ?? also found that subjects who said they were heterosexual ?? but reported homosexual tendencies during tasks ?? were more likely to be hostile to gays, who were forced to repress their true emotions because of strict, conservative upbringings.
    The researchers also said that this may why some homophobic public figures have often caught engaging in homosexual acts.
    They highlighted the case of Ted Haggard, the evangelical preacher who opposed gay marriage but was exposed in a gay sex scandal in 2006 and Glenn Murphy, Jr., the former chairman of the Young Republican National Federation and vocal opponent of gay marriage, who was accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old man in 2007

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Q-tip head.

  • animaux

    @Will Glitzern: The Vatican has been sitting on those photos. Or maybe they destroyed them already. Kim Davis was stupid to open up about the meeting before she got the photos.

  • Bob Pattinson

    I trust the relevant security agencies are monitoring groups like this who work hard to disrupt community cohesion by encouraging hatred and violence against totally innocent people.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    The Vatican sits on a lot of things.

  • GG

    Pure evil.

  • Kangol

    @NoCagada: LMAO!!!

    Closet case queen looks like he spends quite a lot of time with D!CK, and I don’t mean the ghost of Nixon!

  • Scott Albert

    No, not really. They are just as odious, soulless, and full of hate as I imagined. But I hope others realize that.

  • Jason Taylor

    Southern Poverty Law Center = hate group

  • Erik Ehm

    Let’s pick a state (Alabama maybe Mississippi or another small state on the edge of the country), give it to the crazies with the proviso that they are their own nation and once they move there, they can’t come back. That way we can make some damn progress an they can go be hateful in the corner all by themselves

  • Juanjo

    Staver’s “law firm” operates as a charity which means he can and does solicit donations from feeble minder far right fundamentalists. Last year he took in more than 4 million dollars of which he paid out almost 2 million to himself and his wife who is also employed at “Liberty Counsel” for salary and “expense” reimbursements. He lives in a home valued at over one million dollars in Florida in a gated community. Very nice little digs actually. He is the classic huckster living off the money of others.

  • GayEGO

    Staver and his ilk as well as Kim Davis are a bunch of vomit.

  • evdanker

    Now we just have to wait until it is revealed that he had a secret gay relationship, or engaged in child porn, or something else to that effect.

  • Ladbrook

    Bringing down Staver as a closet case would be the ultimate triumph.

    If the HRC has an secret investigative body, I hope they’re spending a large chunk of change trying to set him up with a barebacking go-go boy and a wireless camera.

  • Luis H. Lopez

    A bunch of KKK and Nazi in suits funded by wealthy bigots ! Gays we should destroy them !

  • kookookachoo

    You guys keep me the most informed of any gay news service that I have. You are succinct and you cut to the chase with no holds barred. The last paragraph of this article is gold, pure gold. I like your style! Thank you.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Ladbrook…tie those thoughts to a balloon…and let them float away.

  • billeetee

    SOmeone suggested the Vatican is ‘sitting on the photos’ and they will never be released. Unfortunately, people like Stave don’t work that way (ie., the Peru photo) and in time IF the photos exist you can bet that they will work their way into the Tabloids. Staver likes that kind of publicity too much, and now so does Kim Davis. They deserve each other and if I were “Bubba, The Husband” I’d be taking a serious look at it, but then on the other hand, other than stocking up on paper bags, I would presume Stave wouldn’t give her a second look, but you never know about ‘straight males’…you know, if the p—y is good…

  • John Smith

    Satan’s spawn would hire Satans law firm

  • Josh in OR

    @Jason Taylor: Only if you’re a mouth-breather who gets his news from Fox, Breitbart or one of the countless other right-wing propaganda outlets instead of from…oh, ANYWHERE reputable.

  • svustabler

    I am sorry but I take issue with this excerpt:

    The Rowan County, KY clerk was a nobody in need of a makeover until Liberty Counsel swooped in and made her the national test case for the right of government officials to ignore the law.

    Isn’t that exactly what all those attorney generals who refused to defend the laws of their states was doing? Or was that okay because they were so-called “standing on the right side of history?” Whatever that means. When a person clothes themselves in the robes of public office, NONE of them gets to pick and choose which parts of their jobs they will perform and which they will not.

    Those AGs were every bit as wrong as Kim Davis. They are all the same in my eyes.

  • silveroracle

    Can we just find the OFF SWITCH for her!

  • mezzacanadese

    So Staver thinks that hate crime laws would protect cross dressers and pedophiles.
    Yes, I have to admit those cross dressers are quite a menace. My cross dresser friends cause me to seethe with jealousy, because their legs are better than mine.

  • twinkie1cat

    All of the hate groups are intimately connected and have given out the same message for years or decades starting at least during the Civil Rights Movement. If a group has Liberty or Family in its name it is connected. I think the gay community and especially the gay Christian community needs to take back its words. This could start by a gay political group putting FAMILY in its name, like say, God’s Rainbow Family. The Family of God. Family Heritage. Just plain abscond their words and get them really confused.

  • scotshot

    @Tony Chaplinski:

    Sue a lawyer for lying? There wouldn’t be any left.

  • scotshot

    @Jason Taylor:

    Spoken like a true radical fundamental christian evangelist.

  • Giancarlo85

    @Jason Taylor: You’re an idiot. What else is there to say?

  • Graham Worley

    Well said Bob but did you know ………………

  • Daniel-Reader

    To get all the right-wingers to stop violating human rights, you need only talk about the one thing they do not want to talk about. Do that and they will stop immediately.

  • Transiteer

    Lawyers . . . . with ‘issues’ . . . . .

  • charlieeod74

    Staver is a closet queen, his hatred of the LGBT community reflects on his hidden desires.

  • Tom Pinion

    Kim Davis was nothing more than a tool which Liberty Council used to make a quick buck and to further their bigoted and homophobic agenda of causing harm to Gay people. They never had her best interests at heart which is reflected in their “Legal Council” to her. Liberty Council should have no license to practice law. Their only goal is to take away or prevent equal rights being granted to their fellow Americans who are Gay and cause as much harm to Gay people as they can. The saddest part; they think their actions would please Christ.

Comments are closed.