The event featured a number of activists and public officials, including state Public Service Commissioners Chip Beeker and Twinkle Cavanaugh (who are famous for deploying religion in creative ways in their work regulating public utilities); Michele Bachmann mentor and Roy Moore ally John Eidsmoe; and John Killian, chaplain of the Alabama GOP.
Alabama has been center stage of the gay marriage fight since Moore, with the backing of fellow Republicans, used his position as chief justice of the state’s supreme court to order public officials to defy a federal court decision striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Beeker, the public service commissioner, kicked things off by calling the Supreme Court’s decision “an assault on God” and on “our Christian heritage” that rendered the 10th Amendment “null and void.”
“A runaway judiciary,” he continued, “is a bigger threat to the United States than ISIS. Liberal judges have done more harm to our country and our Constitution than Al Qaeda.”
Not to be outdone, Sanctity of Marriage Alabama spokesman Tom Ford, who called marriage equality part of a “war against God” and a “new invention” the results of which “no one knows.”
But he had some guesses. “The best indication that I have of what it will bring is what we’ve seen in the Bible,” he said. “I can go to Soddom and Gomorrah. In history, we can go to Pompeii, we can go to other places, we can look at Nero in the time of Rome. And in these times God brought destruction, and he also raised up people to speak his truth and he also drew people to himself. And this is our hope.”
He also warned of the dire consequences on children: “If we give our children to the sodomites to educate, when it’s all said and done and they believe that sodomy is okay, why are we surprised?”
Baptist street preacher Tommy Littleton sounded a similar alarm, saying “the human rights issue of our era” is “protecting our children from what is nothing short of gay liberation theology, full sexual liberation.”
“Today we live in probably the most challenging time of our generation, of our nation’s history,” he said, warning of an impending “climate of fear, loss of free speech, loss of religious freedom, and the overwhelming tsunami that is coming against us and our families and our churches and our children.”
After arguing that curriculum standards like Common Core indoctrinate children in homosexuality, he urged the “normal majority” to “rise up and say I don’t want my children to be educated by people who are confused about their own sexuality.”
“Are we really in an honest conversation on the other side or are the LGBT people being used for a much greater and horrendous agenda?” he asked. “I believe they are.”
Becky Gerritson, head of the Wetumpka Tea Party, cited an unfounded right-wing rumor about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wanting to lower the age of consent to 12 years old to warn that the court’s decision paves the way for adult-child marriage and plural marriage.
She urged the audience to “have compassion” on “future victims of this decision” who will be trapped in plural marriages and all the “horrors that it will play out in their lives.”
Eidsmoe, who works for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law, hinted at future challenges to the Supreme Court ruling, saying “this is far from over” and referring to legislators and probate judges who are ready to “obey God rather than man.”
The Supreme Court’s decision, he said, “constitutes an illegitimate means of reaching and unconstitutional decision to create an invalid institution to further the perpetration of immoral acts.”