GOP lawmaker tells Christians to take authority over the “drag queens running this place”

Former Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert
Former Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert Photo: Screenshot

A staunchly anti-LGBTQ+ Arkansas Republican is warning his constituents about the dangers of drag queens “running this place” and said that Christians have to “take authority” over the government in the U.S.

“We must take authority,” Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert (R) said on his Save the Nation with Jason Rapert broadcast. “God told us to go out there and be fruitful, multiply, fill the Earth, subdue it, and have dominion over everything.”

“Friends, the reason the country is struggling,” he continued, “is because the Christians in America have failed to take authority and now is the time to choose, now is the time to stand.”

“Look, do you think that America is gonna be free with a bunch of drag queens running this place? No!” he said, not mentioning any drag queen by name who is in a position of political power in the federal government. There is only one known former drag queen in Congress, Rep. George Santos (R-NY), and he has promoted staunchly anti-LGBTQ+ political positions.

“If you’re tired of that stuff, it’s time to make a change,” Rapert continued.

“This is a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. It was created for you to be in charge,” he said, likely referring to his conservative constituents and no one else.

Rapert has a history of anti-LGBTQ+ statements and actions. In 2020, he suggested cutting off funding for PBS because out actor Billy Porter was going to appear on an episode of Sesame Street.

“I can pass a bill to cutoff all funding for the rebroadcast of PBS programming through AETN [Arkansas’s PBS affiliate] and also stop all funding for AETN altogether if necessary,” he wrote on Facebook at the time.

In a separate Facebook post, Rapert claimed to have signed a petition to stop Porter from appearing on Sesame Street, a petition started by Canadian rightwing website Lifesite News that claims to have over 38,000 signatures.

The petition said that Sesame Street was trying “to push drag queens on children,” even though Billy Porter isn’t a drag queen. It claimed that Porter’s appearance on the show would “sexualize children” and cited a statistic about the epidemic of suicide among transgender youth, implying that Sesame Street will turn kids transgender and being transgender leads to suicide.

In 2017, he compared LGBTQ+ people to Nazis.

“The LGBT activists who behave as Nazis are trying to ruin anyone who ‘disagrees’ with them – even grandmothers,” he said on Facebook. “Simply believing in the Bible is offensive to these activists. They can’t stand it if you disagree. They demand full compliance with their diminished morality. They clearly behave just like the ‘brown shirts’ and ‘SS’ troops that Nazis used to destroy Jews and anyone who disagreed with the Nazi ideology.”

“I don’t care what THEY believe, but I refuse to let them intimidate those who disagree with them,” he continued. “Our laws should not give special protections to people who behave this way. It is a sad time in American history.”

That same year, he tried to get the Arkansas Senate to ban marriage equality despite the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges protecting same-sex couples’ right to get married in every state. He claimed that a “silent majority” spoke out against equal rights in the 2016 election and “they’re going to speak again.” His bill failed.

“It is not bigoted to say that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said at the time.

In 2020, he spoke out against his state’s mask mandate, calling measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic “draconian measures” as originating from “liberal hacks” who are “spreading fear.”

“There is no question that Covid19 is serious and can be very deadly for those with underlying conditions and the elderly,” he wrote in a Facebook post about then-Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) mask mandate. “But the fact is 99% of our nation has not been afflicted and this pandemic is no worse statistically than other severe outbreaks we have endured without draconian measures isolating the healthy and shutting down our entire economy.”

By July 2020, he had been hospitalized for pneumonia after testing positive for COVID-19. He told his supporters that his family was “sincerely grateful for the many prayers of love and support that have been expressed on our behalf.”

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Virginia Senate moves to repeal state’s same-sex marriage ban

Previous article

Activists took over the Oklahoma Capitol to protest anti-trans legislation

Next article