In a conference call with conservative pastors Thursday, organized by the anti-gay Family Research Council, Mike Huckabee let loose with a litany of falsehoods about how marriage equality will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity” and demanded that states simply defy the Supreme Court if it strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.
“Christian convictions are under attack as never before,” Huckabee said in the call, which was meant to rally pastors to participate in the FRC’s upcoming “Stand for Marriage” event. “Not just in our lifetime, but ever before in the history of this great nation. We are moving rapidly towards the criminalization of Christianity.”
The former governor and likely GOP presidential candidate predicted that the government will bring “criminal charges” against those who oppose gay rights and pastors who preach against gay marriage. He even defended ex-gay therapy, claiming that the government is barring chaplains from telling those they counsel to “seek assistance” for a “homosexual lifestyle.”
Huckabee also blasted the “ruling class” and “donor class” for treating opponents of gay rights as “pariahs,” adding that “supposedly conservative donors and conservative office holders are running away from the issue.”
(Audio note: Because of apparent technical difficulties with the conference call, there are beeping noises throughout the call signifying participants dialing in.)
Huckabee told the pastors that no matter what politicians or the polls say about the legalization of gay marriage, God is against it and so they should stand strong against the “small minority pushing this agenda.”
Huckabee claimed that if same-sex marriage bans are struck down nationwide, any pastor who refuses to conduct a same-sex wedding would be breaking the law.
“If the courts rule that people have a civil right not only to be a homosexual but a civil right to have a homosexual marriage, then a homosexual couple coming to a pastor who believes in biblical marriage who says ‘I can’t perform that wedding’ will now be breaking the law,” he said. “It’s not just saying, ‘I’m sorry you have a preference.’ No, you will be breaking the law subject to civil for sure and possible criminal penalties for violating the law…. If you do practice biblical convictions and you carry them out and you do what you’ve been led by the spirit of God to do, your behavior will be criminal.”
This, of course, is a categorically untrue claim that has not materialized in any of the dozens of states where marriage equality has been adopted.
“God help us all,” he said.