When Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson took to the stage in Iowa at a Ted Cruz campaign event, the reality star argued that evangelical Christian voters should pick the conservative candidate based on his religious values. Robertson was the center of national controversy in late 2013 for his controversial positions on LGBTQ civil rights.
Robertson sold Cruz’s religious bonafides to the crowd in Iowa City saying the Senator would restore Biblical values to the federal government. Arguing that the country’s increasing acceptance of LGBT people is unacceptable, the elderly duck hunter called same-sex marriage “evil” and “wicked.”
“When a fellow like me looks at the landscape and sees the depravity, the perversion — redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman? Come on Iowa!” Robertson said. “It is nonsense. It is evil. It’s wicked. It’s sinful. They want us to swallow it, you say. We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there.”
“Ted Cruz owes not only LGBT Americans, but all Americans an apology for his surrogate’s deplorable and dangerous rallying cry that the earth should be ‘rid’ of marriage equality supporters,” Democratic National Committee spokesperson TJ Helmstetter said in an emailed statement. “The LGBT community knows all too well the violence, the hate crimes, the alienation felt by LGBT teenagers that can result from such heated rhetoric. How can a presidential candidate justify calling for eliminating a group of people based on their political views? It’s downright irresponsible.”
Robertson has a history of attacking LGBT people and was suspended from the reality show after making homophobic and racist comments during a GQ magazine interview. Ratings for the hit show plummeted after Robertson’s comments became public.
“Iowans know that in the almost seven years since marriage equality came to the Hawkeye State, the only result has been that now everyone can marry the person they love,” Helmstetter said. “The majority of American voters agree that the Supreme Court’s decision upholding marriage equality nationwide represented monumental progress. Americans deserve a president who will not use hate to divide us and drag America backward. It’s clear the Republican Party doesn’t have any candidate who can live up to that.”
“How about Phil Robertson. What an extraordinary human being,” Cruz said when he took the stage after Robertson. “I mean listen, God makes every one of us unique, but some are uniquer than others.”