Mat Staver

Defending Roy Moore's Nullification Efforts, Liberty Counsel Shows New Concern For 'Judicial Independence'

Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal group that opposes legal equality for LGBT Americans, held a press conference on Wednesday with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been waging a campaign of resistance to the Supreme Court’s June 2015 marriage equality ruling.

Moore and his Liberty Counsel lawyers were calling on the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission to dismiss ethical complaints that had been filed against Moore earlier in 2015 after he urged the governor not to comply with a federal court order on marriage equality. Moore, of course, had gotten in trouble before; in 2003 he was removed from his seat on the court when he refused a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument he had installed in the rotunda of the judicial building.

People For the American Way Foundation was one of the groups that filed a complaint against Moore last year. The PFAWF complaint, which you can read here, was filed in early 2015, based on actions he took when he began to insert himself into a federal marriage equality case that was not before his court. He accused federal judges across the country of seeking to impose tyranny upon the nation, and he suggested he might not comply with a potential Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality (which came down a few months later). The complaint spells out the Canons of Judicial Ethics that Moore violated, undermining public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. “Like the United States as a whole, Alabama is governed by the rule of law,” the complaint concludes, noting that “the history of the state shows the violent and tragic consequences when that ideal is not met.” The complaint asked that Moore once again be removed from his office.

In defending Moore on Thursday, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver dismissed the complaints as “politically motivated” and warned that they “pose a threat to the doctrine of judicial independence.” Continued Staver, “Judges must be free to exercise their considered judgment without the threat of being attacked by organizations and individuals who wish to misuse the ethical process to further a radical political agenda.”

Staver’s concern for Moore’s judicial independence is touching, if a bit surprising, given that Staver was a cheerleader for Religious Right attacks on Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality. After a political campaign that was successful in unseating three state justices in 2010 retention elections, Staver crowed, “The justices crossed the line when they played the role of a legislator and abandoned judicial restraint.”

Moore also said at Wednesday’s press conference that this was about “judicial independence.” But when right-wing groups were cranking up the outrage machine against Iowa Supreme Court justices, Moore joined in the condemnation, saying that the conservative outcry against the justices would send “a signal all across the nation.”

Mat Staver: Gay Boy Scouts Put Young Boys In Danger

Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel released a statement yesterday urging churches to cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America, claiming that the group’s acceptance of gay members jeopardizes “the safety of their young boys,” and encouraging churches to instead partner with a group, Trail Life USA, that was explicitly created to discriminate against gay people:

"The once great Boy Scouts of America has taken a great fall when it changes the longstanding policy to allow homosexual scout leaders and members. This change in policy is fraught with danger. While there are ways for churches to protect their integrity and the safety of their young boys, the best alternative is to abandon the scouts because the scouts abandoned them. Trail Life USA is the best alternative to the failed BSA program," said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. "Liberty Counsel will continue to defend the right of churches to make employment and volunteer decisions based on church religious beliefs and the teachings of the Bible," said Staver.

Staver, a longtime anti-gay activist who received national attention for representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her quest to deny marriage licenses to gay people, urged people to leave the Scouts last year because the group’s gay members would sexually abuse children and turn the organization into “a playground for pedophiles.”

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/12/16

  • Glenn Beck is looking into suing Roger Stone and The Daily Caller over Stone's recent op-ed.
  • Speaking of Beck, he was broadcasting his radio program today from home and Ted Cruz just happened to drop by.
  • Mat Staver is outraged that "President Obama avoided the funerals of Justice Antonin Scalia and former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Yet, he has made time in his schedule to participate in a grand opening of a $100 million mosque and compound built by the Turkish government ... This is a blatant bow to Muslim pressure and to foreign powers." Obama did not attend the grand opening of this mosque, but rather spoke at a mosque a month before in Baltimore.
  • AFA's One Million Moms continues its crusade against the ABC sitcom "The Real O'Neals."
  • Finally, John Burton says that the president must be the nation's "pastor in chief": "The reality is that we are absolutely electing someone to lead our nation who must be first and foremost a servant of God ... If we don't have a God-fearing person in office, one who exhibits the traits of a true pastor, the alternative should terrify us."

Mat Staver: The Fight To Reverse Marriage Equality 'Will Never Be Over'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that the fight against gay marriage will never end because marriage equality is a direct assault on God.

After praising Florida Gov. Rick Scott for signing the "Pastor Protection Act," which shields churches and pastors from being sued for refusing to perform same-sex marriages (something they were already allowed to do), Staver declared that such laws need to be passed all over the country because the fight to undo marriage equality will never stop.

"This issue of marriage," he said, "this attempted redefinition of marriage, some have said, 'Well, it's over with, the Supreme Court has decided, let's move on;' even some presidential candidates, past and present, have made that kind of a statement. What they don't realize is this is not over, it will never be over and there will never be churches, pastors and people of Christian faith and values who will accept this. Period."

"I think that we can ultimately reverse this trend as well," Staver continued. "Pendulums swing and I believe that if you remain faithful, you will ultimately be encouraged by being on the right side of history. People say, 'Well, you're on the wrong side of history.' I would rather be on the side of God's history and the natural created order, millennia of human history than some newfangled idea. This is an assault on marriage and family, our freedom and an assault on God himself."

Conservative Groups Double Down On SCOTUS Obstruction

After President Obama announced his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court today, conservative groups quickly doubled down on their calls for Senate Republicans to block any person the president nominates to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Although a handful of senators are now hinting that they may be willing to at least meet with Garland — who has won praise from Republicans in the past — conservative groups have reiterated their demands that the GOP block his nomination.

Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice issued a statement repeating his call for “no confirmation proceedings until after the election.” Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver similarly repeated that there should be “no Senate hearing on any Obama nominee.” Concerned Women for America announced that “President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court does not change the fact that the Senate needs to continue to do the proper thing by fulfilling its role of ‘advice and consent’” — by which CWA means blocking a nominee.

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Casey Mattox offered no criticism of Garland himself but claimed that the Obama administration is untrustworthy and so Garland’s nomination should be blocked: “The Obama administration has demonstrated it cannot be trusted to respect the rule of law, the Constitution, and the limits of its own authority. So it should be no surprise that the American people would be highly skeptical that any nominee this president puts forth would be acceptable.”

Heritage Action, which was calling for an end to most judicial and executive branch confirmations even before Scalia’s death, declared that “nothing has changed” with the nomination of Garland and that we areone liberal Justice away from seeing gun rights restricted and partial birth abortion being considered a constitutional right.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council similarly tried to paint Garland as a liberal, saying he is “far from being a consensus nominee,” although he offered no specifics about the “serious questions” he said there were about Garland’s “ability to serve as a constitutionalist.” Kayla Moore, who heads the Foundation for Moral Law, the group founded by her husband Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, also opted for vague and dire warnings, saying that Americans “may very well lose our rights” if Garland is confirmed.

Anti-abortion groups also doubled down on their opposition to any confirmation proceedings, while at the same time struggling to find specific reasons to oppose Garland.

Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life didn’t bother to criticize Garland at all, writing instead that this is “no time for a lame duck President to push through a judge for a lifetime appointment.” (Never mind that Obama, with nearly a year left in his second term in office, is not a lame duck president.)

The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser wrote:

This changes nothing. We do not know this nominee but we do know Barack Obama. Anyone he nominates will join the voting bloc on the Court that consistently upholds abortion on-demand. The President should not be permitted one last opportunity to stack the Court with pro-abortion Justices.

Meanwhile, Americans United for Life dug up this one unconvincing piece of opposition research:

Consider that Judge Garland spoke at a gathering celebrating Linda Greenhouse’s book on Justice Harry Blackmun, Becoming Justice Blackmun. He described the release of the papers of the late Justice Blackmun—the author of one of the Supreme Court’s worst decisions, Roe v. Wade—as a “great gift to the country.”

Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman said his group would oppose any nominee who does not publicly “renounce Roe v. Wade”:

"Millions of lives hang in the balance of each ruling on abortion put forth by the Supreme Court. I refuse to support any nominee - Republican or Democrat - that will not renounce Roe v. Wade and commit to restoring legal protections to the pre-born," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.



"I strongly urge the members of the Judiciary Committee to hold fast to their promise, for the sake of the future of our country and the future of our posterity," said Newman. "The Senate Republican leadership cannot afford to break this important promise to their conservative, pro-life base, if they expect us to vote for any of them ever again."

Gun groups also came out swinging against Garland, with the National Rifle Association claiming that he “ does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense” and Gun Owners of America colorfully calling on the Senate to “bury this nomination and write ‘Dead On Arrival’ as its epitaph.” Both groups based their objections on Garland’s vote, as a D.C. Circuit judge, simply to rehear an important gun rights case.

The Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino — who previously called Garland a “best case scenario” Obama nominee to the Supreme Court — has been relying on thesame flimsy criticism to attack Garland.

We’ll update this post with more reactions as they come in.

This post has been updated.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 3/8/16

  • The American Family Association announced that it "is launching the Patriot Project to help underwrite the cost of sending more young people to Patriot Academy," a project run by David Barton's sidekick Rick Green.
  • Donal Trump continues to regularly appear on Michael Savage's radio program.
  • Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton fumes that "the Air Force Academy leadership is attacking traditional Christian beliefs at the same time [it is] funding witchcraft and voodoo."
  • Don Boys declares that Christians must leave any church that supports immigration reform or refugee resettlement: "Some American Evangelical leaders are pressuring Congress to give amnesty to illegal aliens already here and to bring in even more! These are people who know nothing about democracy, have no concept of freedom, speak a foreign language, worship a pagan god, are so backward they have bathed in a river and peed into a hole in the floor all their lives, and will immediately become a financial leach on the face of America!"
  • Finally, Mat Staver knows why Planned Parenthood is building a facility near a school in Washington, DC: "They're trying to bring in these young girls – as young as elementary and middle school – to get them introduced to Planned Parenthood and the killing machine."

Boykin's Defense of 'Religious Freedom' Includes Violent Anti-Trans Rhetoric

On Saturday retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, addressed the Awakening conference, an annual event sponsored by Liberty Counsel and the Freedom Federation. Boykin, known for his anti-Muslim and anti-gay rhetoric, dedicated his remarks in the plenary session to denouncing Bernie Sanders supporters for wanting free things, and to calling on Christians to do more to stand up for religious freedom and against LGBT equality.

Boykin quoted socialist Norman Thomas saying in 1927, “America will never vote for socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program.” Boykin asked, “Is that where we are today?” He declared that support for Sanders is “an indication of the sad state of affairs in this country.”

I am absolutely, incredibly amazed at the number of young people, particularly young people, that are flocking to Bernie Sanders. My generation never would have believed we would have taken a socialist seriously. And here we have tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of people, flocking to Bernie Sanders, and when you pin ‘em down and say, ‘What is it about Bernie Sanders that you really like? it comes back to one thing. Oh, they’ll give you the pablum – ‘I like his policies, I like this and I like that.’ But listen to them very carefully they’ll eventually tell you it’s because he’s going to give them something for nothing. He’s going to give them something that’s free.

Boykin warned that American Christians are not fighting hard enough against what the Religious Right claims are efforts to narrow the concept of freedom of religion that the Founding Fathers placed in the First Amendment down into a more restrictive freedom of worship:

Folks, if you accept the concept of freedom of worship you are going down a dangerous path. They didn’t just give us freedom of worship, they gave us freedom of religion. What they said was you can believe what you want to believe, and you can live your faith. Today, that constitutional freedom is in the greatest jeopardy of any of our constitutional liberties. It is the freedom of religion and it is based on a radical agenda to tell you that you can believe what you want to believe but you cannot live your faith in the public square…

Boykin quoted Eric Metaxas, biographer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who was killed for his resistance to German Nazis, telling him that “if America accepts what Hitler forced the church in Germany to accept, which was freedom to worship, we’re going to wind up being just like Germany.” Added Boykin, “We’re in the same situation today. We’re being told that we can have freedom of worship but we cannot have freedom of religion and we’re going to have to pay a price … We’ve got to stand up to evil.”

As is customary at Religious Right events, Boykin and other speakers blamed the church for not doing enough to resist evil and stand up to the LGBT rights movement. Boykin praised Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver for his defense of Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, who refused to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. And he took now-familiar Religious Right rhetoric targeting transgender people over their use of bathrooms to an ugly new low:

Where is the Christian world today? Where are the Christians of America today? They should be flocking to people like Kim Davis. They should be flocking to the city council and say, ‘No, you’re not going to let a man go in my daughter’s bathroom just because he feels like a man today.’ Where are the Christians that are standing up to this kind of evil?

And I’ve already said, and somebody’ll be recording this and this’ll be on YouTube before it’s all over with. But I will tell you what, the first man that walks in my daughter’s bathroom, he ain’t going to have to worry about surgery. That’s not right. That is not right. It’s not right. It’s ungodly. But it’s also just unnatural. This is crazy. Where are the Christians that are standing up?

 

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 2/24/16

  • The California Republican Assembly has named Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver the recipient of its "Ronald Reagan Freedom Fighter Award."
  • Even after dropping out of the race for president, Mike Huckabee remains as bitter as ever.
  • Jerry Boykin has endorsed Janet Porter in her bid for a seat in the Ohio state senate.
  • Linda Harvey has penned an entirely fictional story about how the SPLC is out to label an innocent grandma as a hate group ... or something.
  • Finally, Walid Shoebat blasts his fellow anti-gay activists for refusing to "support the death penalty for pedophiles and homosexuals who rape young boys": "I see millions upon millions, crowds upon crowds, stadiums and arenas, yet not once did I see any of these major crowds marching to the White House crying for justice for the poor victims or calling for death for such reprobates as they do in the east." 

Conservative Groups Circle The Wagons On SCOTUS Obstruction

When the news broke of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on Saturday, Republicans in the Senate almost immediately vowed to block the nomination of any person President Obama puts forward to fill the empty Supreme Court seat.

Conservative groups quickly followed suit, putting forward various rationales for keeping a Supreme Court seat open for more than a year in the hopes that a Republican is elected president in November.

Some of these activists made variations on the false claim that the Senate never confirms judicial nominees during election years. Others warned of dire consequences for America if the president is allowed a Supreme Court pick. One activist going so far as to claim that Scalia’s seat should be kept vacant in perpetuity until a Republican is elected president.

Conservative legal activist Ed Whelan said it would be “grossly irresponsible” to let Obama pick the next justice:

Senate Republicans would be grossly irresponsible to allow President Obama, in the last months of his presidency, to cement a liberal majority that will wreak havoc on the Constitution. Let the people decide in November who will select the next justice.

Whelan also told “Breitbart News Daily” that “we are at risk of really losing the Supreme Court and losing the Constitution.”

The American Center for Law and Justice ’s Jay Sekulow said that President Obama was perfectly free to nominate a conservative to replace Scalia:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley are both committed to letting the American people decide at the ballot box this November, letting our 45th President appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement. While President Obama remains free to appoint a conservative committed to upholding the Constitution as his replacement, he has given us no reason to believe he would.

So the American people should get to decide.

This is a prime opportunity for all branches of government to show that we still have a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network (formerly the Judicial Confirmation Network), said President Obama is the “last person” who should be nominating the next Supreme Court justice:

… This president, who has shown such contempt for the Constitution and the laws, is the last person who should be appointing his successor. The American people on both sides of the aisle are disgusted with the status quo in Washington and another nomination by this President would just bring about more of the same. The people’s voice should be heard in November to determine who will appoint the next Supreme Court Justice.”

Mat Staver, head of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel (which represented Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and is now representing an anti-Planned Parenthood activist) declared that the “future of the Supreme Court and America” depends on the Senate blocking any Obama nominee:

“With the passing of Justice Scalia, the future of the High Court and the future of America is hanging in the balance. The Senate must not confirm any nominee to the Supreme Court from President Obama. The Senate must hold off any confirmation until the next President is seated. Unfortunately the presidential debates have been more theater and less substance about the real issues surrounding the Supreme Court. The election of the next President has now taken on even greater importance. The future of the Supreme Court and America now depends on the Senate blocking any nominee by President Obama and the people electing the right person to occupy the White House,” said Staver.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins echoed the call to hold Scalia's seat open:

"The Supreme Court has now become the centerpiece in this presidential election. There has not been an election-year nomination in generations and the Senate must not break that trend now. With the election only 269 days away, the people should decide what president should fill this seat," concluded Perkins.

As did the American Family Association’s Buddy Smith:

We cannot allow President Obama to replace him with a judicial activist. Activist judges have mangled the Constitution almost beyond recognition, and we cannot allow Justice Scalia to be replaced by a justice who will continue to shred the Constitution rather than protect it and uphold it.

While the Constitution gives the president the right to nominate Supreme Court justices, it also gives the Senate the right to reject them. The Constitution does not even require an unacceptable nominee be given a vote on the floor.

Americans United for Life’s Charmaine Yoest said, “His loss is tragic, and we hope that when it comes time for the Senate to vote on his replacement, that a worthy successor who can pick up his banner can be found after the election.”

Alan Sears, head of Alliance Defending Freedom, hedged his bets, saying that “it is unlikely that a new justice will be installed prior to the election of our next president.

Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action declared, “The best way to honor Justice Scalia’s legacy is to make sure there is no Obama nominee confirmed by the U.S. Senate.”

Troy Newman, head of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue and a member of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, warned that if Obama were to nominate the next justice, America would become a “totalitarian government”:

"With the passing of the esteemed Justice Scalia, America stands at a crossroads. Will she choose the path of fascism or freedom? We are just one Obama appointee away from a totalitarian government. Two years ago, the GOP promised the American people that, if elected, they would thwart Obama's radical leftist agenda. This is the GOP's moment. Will it shine as a light for liberty in this dark moment or will that light be extinguished by political appeasement?" asked Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

John Zmirak, editor of James Robison’s website The Stream, went even further, saying that if the next president is a Democrat, a Republican Senate should still refuse to confirm any of their judicial nominees:

But they should go further. As long as Republicans control the Senate, there is no excuse for any pro-choice, anti-gun rights, anti-marriage justices to be confirmed to our highest court. If, God forbid, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton is elected, they should face a Republican Senate — or even a GOP minority — that will obstruct their every judicial appointment, even if it means leaving key seats on national benches empty, for years at a time. As justices retire or die, the court will simply grow smaller. Big deal. America will muddle through. This is the kind of implacable determination that defeated the solidly conservative Justice Bork and got us the muddled Anthony Kennedy — and Casey v. Planned Parenthood and Obergefell. It is time for that worm to turn.

Conservatives must drop the facade of high-minded bipartisanship, which only ever cuts to the left. The courts have staggering power to change our lives, and damage our country. They can kill our nation’s unborn babies, seize our guns and punish our churches. If GOP senators aren’t willing to fight long, hard and relentlessly to stop that from happening, we should find other senators who can, back them in the next primary election, and cripple the re-election of squishy moderate turncoats. A presidential candidate who appreciates all this will get my vote. And I think he’ll earn yours.

Liberty Counsel Growing Increasingly Desperate In Its Effort To Smear Planned Parenthood

Last week, Miranda noted that Liberty Counsel is representing Sandra Merritt after she and her Center for Medical Progress colleague David Daleiden were indicted by a grand jury in Texas over their failed efforts to expose Planned Parenthood for supposedly illegally selling fetal tissue for profit. 

Liberty Counsel seems to have decided to defend Merritt by attacking Lauren Reeder, one of the 300 attorneys in the Harris County District Attorney's Office who had nothing to do with the investigation of Merritt and Daleiden, because she serves on the board of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate. But since Liberty Counsel cannot attack Reeder on the merits, given that she disclosed her relationship with Planned Parenthood and had nothing to do with the DA's investigation, the right-wing legal organization has decided to attack her instead for having once worn "hot pants and a very revealing tank top" to a Planned Parenthood fundraising event.

Reeder attended the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's "Party Like A Rock Star" event dressed as a dancer from Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video and on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast today, Mat Staver and Matt Barber attacked her for wearing "what looks like a bra but it's actually a very low-cut tank-top and also, hot pants, very short shorts."

Even more upsetting to Staver was the fact that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's director of development, Ed Benyon, attended the event in make-up and a shirt covered in blood.

Benyon was clearly dressed as Alice Cooper, which was somehow scandalous to Staver.

"He's got a white, like almost a lab coat," Staver said, "and on the left shoulder, all covering the entire shoulder and the left part of his chest, dripping down the left side of that shirt is what appears to be blood."

Barber, of course, was equally scandalized.

"I guess they think that is funny, somehow?" he sneered. "That's cute? To wear this lab coat with blood dripping down it? I don't know if they're mocking pro-lifers, but it does underscore just how they devalue human life here, that they were even jokingly mock themselves for what they do."

Anti-Planned Parenthood Lawyer Shames Attorney For Once Wearing A 'Very Revealing' Top

Last month, a grand jury in Houston that had been convened to investigate Planned Parenthood in the wake of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) instead indicted CMP’s David Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merritt on charges related to their infiltration of the women’s health provider.

Planned Parenthood opponents, searching for a way to spin the indictments, have latched on to the fact that one of the 300 attorneys in the office that launched the investigation is a member of the board of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate — never mind that the district attorney’s office disclosed the connection from the very beginning and made it clear that the attorney in question would have nothing to do with the case.

But the fact that the attorney with the Planned Parenthood connection had nothing to do with the activists’ indictments hasn’t stopped Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, the attorney famous for defending anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and who is representing Merritt, from questioning her influence on the case and calling her out for once wearing “hot pants and a very revealing tank top” at a Planned Parenthood fundraising event.

A post on Liberty Counsel’s website on Friday say that the “history and actions” of the district attorney’s office “raise serious questions about bias” and includes a photo of Laruen Reeder, the attorney who is on the local Planned Parenthood board, at a costume party fundraiser for the organization “wearing a revealing tank top and hot pants.”

Staver continued this line of attack in an interview with Pennsylvania radio host Bobby Gunther Walsh today, in which he insisted that “it remains to be seen” whether Reeder influenced the investigation and added that she had once been “pictured in hot pants and a very revealing tank top” at the Planned Parenthood fundraiser.

Mat Staver: Gays Are Imposing A 'Jizya' Tax On Christians In America

On a recent "Freedom's Call" radio commentary, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that gays are now imposing a "jizya" tax on Christians in America.

Staver, the anti-gay legal activist representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, said that gays have borrowed the concept of the jizya, a discriminatory tax imposed on non-Muslims under Islamic law, and are now subjecting Christians in America to such taxes.

"Deep in the Islamic tradition is jizya, a tax which forces non-Muslims to pay an exorbitant fee for living within a Muslim state," Staver said. "Now, from farmers in New York to those offering wedding cakes, photography and other services, all have been fined thousands, and sometimes more than a hundred thousand dollars for having and acting on a religious belief that is different from homosexuals who demand their services. These fees and fine are in essence a tax on Christians who are living out their faith and beliefs in the businesses that they labored for and have built. In America, we should not fear paying a tax or fee to Muslims, nor to homosexuals, just because our faith is different from theirs."

Kim Davis' Lawyer Compares Her To Martin Luther King Jr.

Mathew Staver, the anti-gay activist who represented Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her failed attempt to prevent her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, marked Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by emailing supporters of his organization, Liberty Counsel, a fundraising email that included an excerpt from King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail.”

Naturally, Staver, who has previously likened Davis to King and to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, ended his letter by directly comparing Davis to the civil rights leader:

P.S. Dr. King was a highly principled man and firmly held to his convictions until his untimely death.

Today, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis stands as an example to all of us as a person of conviction who was jailed for her principled resistance to an unjust law. Yet, the Lord has restored her in ways she couldn't have imagined!

While no one wants conflict, we have no choice but to resist an unjust law, particularly one that will force us to participate in acts that directly conflict with the Natural and Revealed Law.

Staver isn’t alone in comparing Davis to King.

Back in September, Rick Santorum said that Davis was following in King’s footsteps:

Five GOP Candidates To Join Pastor Who Says AIDS Is God's Punishment For Gay People

In yet another example of what the Religious Right’s recent focus on “religious liberty” is really about, five Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to speak this weekend at a “religious freedom” event hosted by a conservative pastor who has repeatedly declared that AIDS is God’s punishment for gay people’s “immoral act” and has called for a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality.

Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee are scheduled to join a “Free to Believe Broadcast” on Saturday, hosted by the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, two of the most outspoken anti-gay activists in the country.

Both, even while attempting to curtail the rights of LGBT people, have claimed that it is their rights that are being violated by the LGBT movement: Perkins has said that the supposed persecution of anti-gay Christians in America is inspiring ISIS, and Scarborough has declared that he is ready to burn to death in the fight against gay marriage.

But neither Scarborough nor Perkins has ever been particularly interested in a “live and let live” truce with LGBT people.

Scarborough has declared that AIDS, “a homosexual disease,” is God’s “judgment as a result of an immoral act.” Just last year, he repeated his belief that AIDS is “God’s judgment on a sinful generation, adding that “God would probably give us the cure for AIDS today” if the U.S. stopped supporting gay rights:

He also said last year that marriage equality is part of Satan’s effort to “destroy this country,” warning that gay parents will lead their children “into an early grave called hell”:

Scarborough is so concerned about gay people that back in 2013 he brought up the idea of issuing a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality, much like actions taken against the tobacco industry:

In 2014, Scarborough agreed with Islamic fundamentalists who call America the “Great Satan,” saying that God would be perfectly justified in sending a nuclear bomb to destroy the country because of such sins as President Obama’s appointments of a handful of gay ambassadors:

And that’s just Scarborough. Perkins has a vile anti-gay record of his own, which Brian summarized last month.

Also appearing at the event will be Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who has warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children, and David and Jason Benham, brothers who became Religious Right martyrs when they lost a TV show they were set to star in after their anti-gay activism came to light.

Cruz might not mind appearing with an activist who has said that God is punishing gay people with AIDS — after all, he has praised Scarborough before and has David Barton, an activist who has said similar things, leading a super PAC in support of his candidacy. Cruz and Huckabee similarly showed their willingness to cozy up to the most radical people in the anti-gay movement when they appeared last year at a conference hosted by Kevin Swanson, who spent much of the event expounding on what he interprets as the Bible’s call for the death penalty for gay people.

But if any of the other candidates have an ounce more shame, they might want to think twice about appearing at Saturday’s event.

Kim Davis' Lawyer, Invited To SOTU, Is An Anti-Gay, Anti-Obama Zealot

Throughout the day, reporters have been trying to figure out which member of Congress invited Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and her lawyer, Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, to tonight’s State of the Union address. While the invitations were arranged by the far-right Family Research Council, which gave Davis its “Cost of Discipleship Award” last year, FRC has been mum on which congressman got them the tickets in the first place. (UPDATE: The tickets came from Rep. Jim Jordan’s office, but the congressman says he wasn’t aware that they went to Davis.)

Whichever member of Congress arranged for Staver to attend the State of the Union will have to answer for inviting one of the most extreme anti-gay voices in the country to the event.

Staver has accused President Obama of supporting “forced homosexuality,” specifically for children, compared gay rights advocates to terrorists and blamed bank failures during the 2008 financial crisis on “the homosexual agenda.”

According to Staver, the advance of gay rights will lead to diseaserapechild abusedeathviolent crimerevolutionthe collapse of society and “the end of western civilization.”

It is no wonder that Staver believes homosexuality is “demonic” and praises countries that criminalize same-sex relationships, calling gay people’s relationships “destructive to individuals” and “destructive to our very social fabric.” His firm previously represented an ex-gay woman who, in the midst of a custody battle with her former partner, kidnapped the couple’s daughter and moved to an unknown location in Central America.

Staver has also alleged that President Obama is persecuting conservative activists like himself and is bent on becoming a global dictatorcreating his own personal army and fomenting genocide.

Naturally, Liberty Counsel said in a statement that Staver plans to use his appearance alongside Davis at the State of the Union to remind the president of his supposed anti-Christian tyranny:

While the President will be extolling his “accomplishments” of the last seven years, Kim Davis and Mat Staver will be a visible reminder of the Administration’s attack on religious liberty and an encouragement for people of faith to stand.

For seven years, people of faith have been in the crosshairs of the Obama Administration. The state of religious liberty is dire, but we cannot give up.

“Kim and I are encouraging all people of faith to get involved in the political process, to vote for people who support your values, and to never give up,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Our ‘one nation under God,’ is worth our continued prayers and active support.”

Anti-Gay Activists Rally Behind Roy Moore, Who Touts 'States' Rights'

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is winning plaudits from Religious Right groups after he issued an administrative order directing probate judges in his state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore was an anti-gay activist in his own right before returning to the court in 2013, founding the far-right Foundation for Moral Law, which has published yesterday’s order on its website.

Moore told the far-right site WorldNetDaily that the Obergefell case provides “a wonderful time to teach the people of our country about states’ rights,” explaining that his order reflects the fact that “states do have powers.”

Already, Moore is winning support from those who called on state and local officials, such as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, to defy the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling.

Phillip Jauregui of the Judicial Action Group:

This Order is both courageous and very well-reasoned. We need more federal and state officers like Chief Justice Moore who understand that the job of the Federal Judiciary is not to legislate from the bench, but rather to simply decide disputes between parties consistent with the text of the Constitution. Judicial opinions, like Obergefell v. Hodges, that purport to set policy for all of America are simply not supported by the Constitutional grant of powers given to the Judiciary.

Thank God for Chief Justice Moore! Please keep him, his family, and his staff in your prayers!

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel:

“I applaud Chief Justice Roy Moore for this order reaffirming the marriage law in Alabama,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Alabama Supreme Court issued an order in March 2015 barring probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses after a federal court in January of last year overturned Alabama's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman,” Staver explained. “In Alabama and across America, state judiciaries and legislatures are standing up against the federal judiciary or anyone else who wants to come up with some cockeyed view that somehow the Constitution now births some newfound notion of same-sex marriage."

“The opinion of five lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage is lawless and without legal or historical support," Staver concluded.

National Organization for Marriage:

These legal developments are consistent with the developing resistance in America to the Supreme Court's attempt to legislate from the bench when it comes to marriage, ignoring the federal constitution in the process and inventing out of thin air a "right" to same-sex 'marriage.'

The American people reject judicial activism of the US Supreme Court and their attempt to redefine marriage. They continue to support marriage as it has existed throughout our nation's history, the union of one man and one woman.

Sanctity of Marriage Alabama:

Sanctity of Marriage Alabama applauds Chief Justice Roy Moore for doing his job and clarifying what is, in fact, the current law in Alabama. Chief Justice Moore has a constitutional duty (see Ala. Code 12-2-30) as head of the judicial system to "[take affirmative action to correct any] situation adversely affecting the administration of justice within the state." He has done this today. We expect that the associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court will once again follow the line of duty before God and the Constitutions of the United States and Alabama as they did back in March."

Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio:

Scott Lively Names Anti-Gay 'Inquisition' Advocate Theodore Shoebat Among The Anti-Gay 'Heroes' Of 2015

Earlier this week, extremist anti-gay activist Scott Lively released his list of the "Top Ten Pro-Family Heroes of 2015," highlighting anti-gay activists "who showed courage under fire or whose words and actions gave special encouragement to our movement."

As the "2015 Pro-Family Hero of the Year," Lively rewarded Brian Camenker of MassResistance with a $500 donation and urged his supporters to financially support these other "worthy organizations" to "help them in their work":

1) 2015 Pro-Family Hero of the Year
Brian Camenker, MassResistance, for consistent dogged determination, effective activism, and optimism in the face of overwhelming opposition in the most homosexual-controlled state in the union.

2) Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel, for his bold, principled defiance of the United States Supreme Court in the Obergefell “gay marriage” ruling, and his defense of conscientious objector Kim Davis who refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals in Kentucky.

3) Janet Folger, Faith 2 Action, for her tenacious “Restrain the Judges” campaign, culminating in a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court asking Congress to remove jurisdiction over “gay marriage” from the United States Supreme Court, and for her subsequent valiant efforts to force SCOTUS to reconsider its Obergefell decision.

4) Arthur Goldberg, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) for standing firm through a terrible lawsuit brought against JONAH by the Southern Poverty Law Center claiming that offering recovery to homosexuals amounted to consumer fraud under New Jersey law.

5) Peter LaBarbera, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, for his consistently gracious and courageous cultural analysis, activism and journalism at great personal cost.

6) David Kupelian, WND.com, for his ongoing fearless publication of the truth and his newest book, “The Snapping of the American Mind.”

7) J. Matt Barber of Barbwire.com for establishing a wonderful new medium for Christian witness and defense of the truth.

8) Diane Gramley, American Family Association of PA, for her steady, persistent and unflappable defense of family values. 

9) Dr. Michael Brown, Line of Fire Radio Ministry, for the encouragement he has provided to the movement with his fearless radio commentary and especially new book, Outlasting the Gay Revolution.

10) Dr. Don Welch: Center for Enriching Relationships, for being the first-named of three litigants against California’s SB1172 law preventing professional psychotherapists from helping gender identity confused adolescents who possess a biblical worldview.

In addition to these "heroes," Lively also provided a list of those who "deserve honorable mention" and one name, more than any other, jumped out at us: 

Rev. Franklin Graham, for his many media appearances in which he courageously articulated the truth.

Robert Reilly, for his outstanding book, “Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything.” 

Anne Paulk, executive director of Restored Hope Network for pulling the remnants of Exodus International back together and moving forward with grace, energy and truth.

Robert Oscar Lopez for his many articles, his brave stand, his amicus brief in the Obergefell case, and his book “Jephthah’s Daughters.”

Bryan Fischer and AFR radio for outstanding exposition of and defense of the truth.

Pastor Steve Branson, Village Parkway Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX for his strong public support of Master Sgt. Phillip Monk

The pastors who championed the HERO case in Houston, TX.

Dr. Steven Hotze, Conservative Republicans of Texas

Bill Wiesner, TCFamily.org, Michigan.

Aaron and Melissa Kline, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Oregon.

Baronelle Stutzman, Arlene’s Flowers, Richland, Washington.

Jack Phillips, Masterpiece Cake Shop, Lakewood, CO.

Kim Davis, Morehead, KY.

Ed Hernandez and Mark Bonkiewicz, Nebraskans for Founders Values.

Phil Sevilla, Texas Leadership Coalition

Bradlee Dean: SonsofLibertyRadio.com

David Skinner of England.

Julio Sevaro of Brazil.

Theodore Shoebat

Very Special Thanks to pro-family hero Linda Harvey of Mission America for her help in compiling this list.

Theodore Shoebat is, of course, a truly deranged anti-gay activist who has openly and repeatedly called for a"global inquisition" to force gay people to either submit to Christianity or be put to death:

Liberty Counsel Brags That Kim Davis Is Attending Matt Bevin's Inauguration

Liberty Counsel is crowing that its client, Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, was “invited to attend the festivities” surrounding today’s inauguration of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.

Bevin was an outspoken defender of Davis’s refusal to follow a federal court order that her office grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver has no doubts that Bevin’s “absolute” backing of Davis helped put him over the top in the election.

“There is no question that the case of Kim Davis and the issue of religious freedom played a role in the Governor’s lopsided win,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Kentuckians favor traditional values, and they are tired of the political elites represented by former Governor Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway. The voters sided with religious liberty,” said Staver. 

“On the night he won the election, Gov. Bevin tweeted that he would bring ‘Christian principles to Frankfort.’ During his campaign and following his election, Gov. Bevin promised he would issue an executive order respecting the religious liberty of Kim Davis and other Kentucky clerks. We look forward to a new day in Kentucky,” concluded Staver. 

Liberty Counsel reports that Davis will “attend the inaugural events, including the worship service, a parade, and the public swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps.”

It’s hard to know whether Davis’ invitation and attendance are really a further public embrace by Bevin or more like the “invitation” Liberty Counsel arranged for Davis during Pope Francis’s visit to DC, when she was smuggled into the Vatican embassy for what Liberty Counsel called a private meeting with, and endorsement from, the pontiff — and which Vatican officials characterized as more of a receiving line meet-and-greet.

Liberty Counsel’s efforts to get Davis chosen as TIME magazine’s person of the year were less successful.

Kim Davis' Lawyer Wants Her Named TIME's Person Of The Year

Liberty Counsel, the right-wing legal group that represented Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her unsuccessful attempt to flout the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, released a statement yesterday urging its supporters to “vote for Kim” as TIME’s Person of the Year, since she “inspired a nation and the world to fight for religious liberty when she chose a prison cell rather than sacrificing her conscience.”

Davis has since backed down — under court orders — from her attempt to block her county office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In an email to supporters, Liberty Counsel chairman Mathew Staver likened Davis to Christian leaders “we admire like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Jan Huss, John Bunyan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” while continuing to insist that “Kim adhered to Kentucky law while standing for her First Amendment right to religious liberty and freedom of conscience.”

Kim Davis became the first Christian in America jailed as a result of the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex "marriage."

She joins a long list of people who were imprisoned for their conscience. People who today we admire like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Jan Huss, John Bunyan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and others like them. Each had their own cause, but they all shared the same resolve not to violate their consciences.

Kim adhered to Kentucky law while standing for her First Amendment right to religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Liberty Counsel represented Kim throughout her ordeal.

According to the magazine, TIME editors will choose a winner with the announcement on December 9. But leading to the selection, they are asking readers to "have their say," in a face-off poll.

Mat Staver: Obama Bringing In Refugees Because He 'Has No Love For This Country'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that President Obama is bringing in Syrian refugees because he "has no love for this country" and wants to undermine and destroy America.

Staver and cohost Matt Barber were ostensibly discussing last month's terrorist attacks in Paris, though most of the discussion was aimed at attacking Obama for bringing Syrian refugees into America, which Staver insisted is going to lead to a Paris-like tragedy here as well. 

Barber was at a loss to understand Obama's desire to "bring in potential ISIS terrorists by the thousands," wondering if it is sheer incompetence or something he is doing intentionally. 

"It's not incompetence," responded Staver. "It's intentional. This person that occupies the White House has no love for this country and, in fact, does so many things to undermine the moral, the unity and the security of this country. It's absolutely unbelievable. If he were someone else, the media would be all over him, but he gets away with all this because they don't hold him accountable. Frankly, this particular president, his legacy will be that he has weakened America and that he is making us vulnerable to some serious attacks."

Barber agreed, declaring that if any sort of terrorist attack occurs in America on Obama's watch, "he will have blood on his hands and there's a word for that and that word is 'treason.'"

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Mat Staver Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Thursday 04/28/2016, 10:35am
Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal group that opposes legal equality for LGBT Americans, held a press conference on Wednesday with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been waging a campaign of resistance to the Supreme Court’s June 2015 marriage equality ruling. Moore and his Liberty Counsel lawyers were calling on the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission to dismiss ethical complaints that had been filed against Moore earlier in 2015 after he urged the governor not to comply with a federal court order on marriage equality. Moore, of course, had gotten in trouble before; in... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/14/2016, 4:05pm
Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel released a statement yesterday urging churches to cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America, claiming that the group’s acceptance of gay members jeopardizes “the safety of their young boys,” and encouraging churches to instead partner with a group, Trail Life USA, that was explicitly created to discriminate against gay people: "The once great Boy Scouts of America has taken a great fall when it changes the longstanding policy to allow homosexual scout leaders and members. This change in policy is fraught with danger. While there are ways... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/12/2016, 5:38pm
Glenn Beck is looking into suing Roger Stone and The Daily Caller over Stone's recent op-ed. Speaking of Beck, he was broadcasting his radio program today from home and Ted Cruz just happened to drop by. Mat Staver is outraged that "President Obama avoided the funerals of Justice Antonin Scalia and former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Yet, he has made time in his schedule to participate in a grand opening of a $100 million mosque and compound built by the Turkish government ... This is a blatant bow to Muslim pressure and to foreign powers." Obama did not attend the grand... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/29/2016, 10:35am
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that the fight against gay marriage will never end because marriage equality is a direct assault on God. After praising Florida Gov. Rick Scott for signing the "Pastor Protection Act," which shields churches and pastors from being sued for refusing to perform same-sex marriages (something they were already allowed to do), Staver declared that such laws need to be passed all over the country because the fight to undo marriage equality will never stop. "This issue of marriage,... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 03/16/2016, 2:51pm
After President Obama announced his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court today, conservative groups quickly doubled down on their calls for Senate Republicans to block any person the president nominates to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Although a handful of senators are now hinting that they may be willing to at least meet with Garland — who has won praise from Republicans in the past — conservative groups have reiterated their demands that the GOP block his nomination. Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/08/2016, 6:30pm
The American Family Association announced that it "is launching the Patriot Project to help underwrite the cost of sending more young people to Patriot Academy," a project run by David Barton's sidekick Rick Green. Donal Trump continues to regularly appear on Michael Savage's radio program. Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton fumes that "the Air Force Academy leadership is attacking traditional Christian beliefs at the same time [it is] funding witchcraft and voodoo." Don Boys declares that Christians must leave any church that supports immigration reform or... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 03/08/2016, 10:16am
On Saturday retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, addressed the Awakening conference, an annual event sponsored by Liberty Counsel and the Freedom Federation. Boykin, known for his anti-Muslim and anti-gay rhetoric, dedicated his remarks in the plenary session to denouncing Bernie Sanders supporters for wanting free things, and to calling on Christians to do more to stand up for religious freedom and against LGBT equality. Boykin quoted socialist Norman Thomas saying in 1927, “America will never vote for socialism, but under the name of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/24/2016, 6:30pm
The California Republican Assembly has named Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver the recipient of its "Ronald Reagan Freedom Fighter Award." Even after dropping out of the race for president, Mike Huckabee remains as bitter as ever. Jerry Boykin has endorsed Janet Porter in her bid for a seat in the Ohio state senate. Linda Harvey has penned an entirely fictional story about how the SPLC is out to label an innocent grandma as a hate group ... or something. Finally, Walid Shoebat blasts his fellow anti-gay activists for refusing to "support the death... MORE >