Steve Washburn of First Baptist Pflugerville, the pastor who campaigned against health insurance benefits for the domestic partners of gay school district employees in his city, joined Charles Flowers and Cathie Adams at the Texas Values anti-gay press conference last week.
Citing absolutely zero evidence, Washburn said that gay rights activists are trying to enact hate speech laws and throw pastors in jail.
“If it becomes illegal for us to stand in our pulpit and preach pro-family issues, if that biblical language becomes hate speech, if we are facing imprisonment by speaking our religion which is defended by the First Amendment, we are going to see thousands and thousands of Bible-preaching pastors going to jail,” he said. “And I don’t think anyone wants to see that.”
Afterward, Jonathan Saenz, the leader of Texas Values, concluded the press conference with his own ominous warning: “You’re going to see more and more people recognize the tremendous threat of redefining marriage and I think it is becoming very clear to people that if marriage is redefined, religious liberty will be obliterated.”
“You will see more attacks on churches than you are already seeing right now and they have already started, because that is the goal to a lot of people, it is not simply to change the definition of marriage but essentially to destroy it and to have a type of sexual behavior being recognized and protected in law that will be to the detriment of our society and to churches across our country.”