Opposition to gay marriage and support for controversial religious freedom laws were the prime topics at the latest Republican Iowa Faith and Freedom Summit over the weekend.
Statements of opposition to gay marriage and support for laws allowing businesses to refuse to serve gay customers come as gay marriage trends as a national topic among likely 2016 Republican candidates. One of the most recent examples was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaking at the home of a pair of gay hoteliers in New York, despite Cruz’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
At that reception, which occurred prior to this weekend’s conference, Cruz said he would love his daughters just as much if either of them were gay. Those superficially gay-friendly comments weren’t enough to prevent a backlash from the gay community against the hoteliers that hosted Cruz. And at the summit Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) also made sure to up the ante on their comments against same-sex marriage.
Below are some of the comments from the Republican Iowa confab:
Cruz: There’s A Liberal Fascism Going On Against Christians
Cruz followed up on his previous statement that there’s a “jihad” being waged against opponents of religious freedom bills and said that the Democratic Party doesn’t have any more tolerance for Christians.
“Today’s Democratic Party has decided there is no room for Christians in today’s Democratic Party,” Cruz said. “There is a liberal fascism that is going after Christian believers.”
Rubio: An Absurd Reading Of The Constitution Would Allow Gay Marriage
Not to be outdone, Rubio, who, like Cruz, is running for president in 2016, said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody in Iowa that no smart reading of the Constitution would allow for same-sex marriage.
“You would have to really have a ridiculous and absurd reading of the U.S. Constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex,” Rubio said.
While Rubio has said that he doesn’t believe being gay is a choice, he also has stated that he doesn’t support same-sex marriage. But the Florida senator also recently said he’d attend the wedding of someone close to him, if that person were gay.
Jindal Really Supports Religious Freedom And Would Go To Gay Wedding
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been unapologetic in supporting a religious freedom bill that critics say is broader than other religious freedom proposals in Indiana and Arkansas. At the summit, Jindal vowed that he wouldn’t back down but, when asked if he too would attend a same-sex wedding Jindal said, “if it’s someone I loved and cared for.” Jindal hasn’t been to one yet, though.
Rick Perry: I Helped George W. Bush Pass A Religious Freedom Bill
During his speech, former Gov. Perry wanted the Iowa crowd to know that he has been supporting religious freedom bills since before it was cool. Perry said when he was lieutenant governor, he helped then-Gov. George W. Bush pass a religious freedom bill into law in Texas.
“We believe in religious freedom in the state of Texas. We passed that religious freedom bill in 1999. And I was proud to work with George W. Bush as the lieutenant governor to pass that,” Perry said during his speech.
Perry’s comments were clipped by the left-leaning opposition research group American Bridge:
Rubio: Obama Shows More Respect For Iran’s Ayatollah Than Israel
The Freedom summit’s speeches weren’t exclusively on gay marriage. Rubio, for instance, also bashed President Barack Obama on Israel and Iran, saying “How can it be that our president shows more respect for the Ayatollah in Iran than our allies in Israel?” according to National Journal.
Rep. King: The Supreme Court Thinks It Can ‘Redefine’ Marriage Just Because It’s The Supreme Court
At the summit, and ahead of the Supreme Court beginning to hear arguments on a case on same-sex marriage, conservative firebrand Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suggested a ruling legalizing gay marriage could be on the horizon.
“And now we have a Supreme Court that thinks ‘oh it’s no problem, we can redefine marriage. We’ll just do that because we’re the Supreme Court after all.’ I wish our founding fathers might have named that court something other than ‘supreme,'” King said.
King went on to say the Supreme Court has made other bad calls such as Roe v. Wade which produced “abortion on demand.”
Watch the clip of King, also from American Bridge, below: