Yesterday, anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was released from jail and almost immediately took the stage at a campaign rally for Mike Huckabee, arm-in-arm with the GOP presidential candidate and with her attorney, Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel.
This is the moment that Staver has been waiting for. The former dean of Liberty University’s School of Law has repeatedly urged public officials to break the law when it comes to gay marriage, and with Davis he finally has his test case.
Much of the public attention on Staver has focused on his bizarre, and so far unsuccessful, legal argument that Davis should be able to order her entire county clerk’s office to follow her personal religious views, even in defiance of several court orders. Staver has gone all-in on the Religious Right’s claim that LGBT rights is leading to the persecution of Christians, claiming that obeying gay marriage law is tantamount to handing over a Jewish person to Nazi enforcers and comparing Davis to victims of the Holocaust.
But it’s important to remember that when Staver is not playing the victim of LGBT rights, he is spouting virulently anti-LGBT rhetoric, going so far as to suggest that supporters of gay rights are ineligible to hold public office and defending laws criminalizing homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad.
As these 10 anti-gay comments make clear, Staver isn’t seeking a live-and-let-live world, but rather one where the government is a religious tool of conservative Christians and LGBT people are forced into the shadows.
1) Labels Gays ‘Demonic’
For Staver, the battle against gay rights is part of a spiritual war, since he believes that the gay rights movement is “doing the bidding of the Devil” and is part of the spirit of the Antichrist and “demonic.”
2) Defends Bans On Homosexuality
While he has portrayed himself as a defender of freedom and liberty at home, Staver has actually praised moves in Russia, India, Malawi and Nigeria to outlaw homosexual relationships or speech in favor of gay rights. The group also defended U.S. anti-sodomy laws by citing [PDF] a satirical essay that joked about how gays “will sodomize your sons.”
3) Compares Gays To Terrorists
The Liberty Counsel founder has claimed that there is no need to negotiate or compromise with gay rights supporters because they are acting like terrorists.
“It’s kind of like with these terrorists, it’s hard to negotiate with terrorists because they have a zero-sum game,” he said of gay rights advocates during the debate about Indiana’s so-called religious freedom law. “It’s hard to negotiate with these people who simply are irrational and are inventing things that just simply don’t exist.”
4) Thinks Gays Will Force Us To Be Gay
Prior to the 2012 election, Staver warned that the Obama administration was planning to impose “in-your-face forced homosexuality” upon the nation.
He also charged that society would “just simply cease to exist” under marriage equality.
5) Paints Gays As Child Molesters
Staver, who once warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children, recently claimed that the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to “allow homosexual young boys in the Scouts and allow homosexual leaders in the Scouts” will lead to “all kinds of sexual molestation” as the organization transforms into “a playground for pedophiles to go and have all these boys as objects of their lust.”
6) Wants Gay Rights Supporters Out Of Office
Staver had strong words for members of Vermont’s legislature who voted for a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, saying that they were unfit for office: “It is a sad day in America when elected officials are clueless about the definition of marriage. If they cannot understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they are not competent for public office.”
7) Warns Gay Marriage Will Cause A Crime Wave
Staver predicted that the legalization of gay marriage will lead to a new generation of criminals, claiming that the children of two women are more likely to turn to a life of crime:
He even claimed that transgender people will use the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to rape and kill women and girls: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls…. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”
8) Blames Gay Marriage For Bank Failure
During the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, Staver said that the failure of two of the country’s biggest banks, Washington Mutual and Wachovia, was a price they had to pay for supporting gay marriage: “Washington Mutual and Wachovia, both of which actively promoted the homosexual agenda, have come to realize that anti-family policies will bankrupt the bottom line.”
9) Warns Gay Marriage Will Destroy Civilization
Staver believes that marriage equality will “has a catastrophic consequence for our religious freedom, for the very function of the family, for marriage, for our human existence, for civil society and for any area of our liberty” as it leads to “the unraveling of the United States.”
“Same-sex marriage is the beginning of the end of western civilization,” he said in an interview last year. “It really is, it’s that serious.”
In 2013, Staver claimed that gay marriage would be “the beginning of the end of America.”
10) Wants War To Fight Gay Marriage
Staver’s opposition to gay marriage is so fierce that he has even threatened to wage a revolution to fight it:
This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country.
He said that while he would prefer a non-violent revolution, “you never know what happens.”