Election 2024

Donald Trump shares stage with rightwing activist who’s discussing stoning gay people to death

Former President Donald Trump takes the stage for his speech in front of Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA, during the Turning Point Action event at the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix on July 24, 2021.
Former President Donald Trump takes the stage for his speech in front of Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA, during the Turning Point Action event at the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix on July 24, 2021. Photo: David Wallace/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC/via IMAGN

A rightwing activist whose rally Donald Trump spoke at last week in Arizona is now telling his podcast audience that the Bible calls on Christians to stone gay people to death and saying that being gay is “an error” and compared homosexuality to drug addiction and alcoholism.

Turning Point USA founder and executive director Charlie Kirk was discussing children’s YouTuber Ms. Rachel, who was targeted by rightwingers earlier this month because she acknowledged that June is Pride Month on social media.

“I’m so glad you’re here, I’m so glad you’re who you are,” she said in the fairly anodyne message.

She later posted a video responding to the rightwing backlash – many on the right, including Chaya Raichik of Libs of TikTok and “Christian fascist” Matt Walsh, accused her of supporting “child mutilation” and “gender ideology” – where she pointed out that she is Christian and her Christianity inspires her to want to help build an accepting world for everyone.

“In Matthew 22, a religious teacher asks Jesus, ‘What’s the most important commandment?'” Ms. Rachel says in the video. “And Jesus says to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.”

“There’s no greater commandments than these, I believe it’s mentioned eight times, love your neighbor.”

That made Kirk mad.

“I mean, Satan has quoted scripture plenty,” Kirk retorted. “You love somebody by telling the truth, not by confirming or affirming their sin.”

“And it says, by the way Ms. Rachel, you might wanna crack open that Bible of yours, in a lesser referenced part of the same part of scripture is in Leviticus 18 is that thou shall… Lay with another man and be stoned to death,” Kirk continued.

“Just sayin’,” he said, smiling as his co-hosts laughed. “So, Ms. Rachel, you quote Leviticus 19, love your neighbor as yourself, the chapter before affirms God’s perfect law when it comes to sexual matters.”

He was referring to Leviticus 18:22, which says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination,” and Leviticus 20:13, which says, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

Trump attended the Turning Point USA rally in Dream City Church in Phoenix last Thursday, where both Trump and Kirk spread the message that they were going to make the 2024 election “too big to rig,” a reference to the conservative lie that there was massive, widespread voter fraud in 2020.

“We are going to make November too big to rig and we are going to overwhelm the ballot boxes,” Kirk said at the event. “There is no path to the White House without Arizona.”

President Joe Biden won Arizona in 2020. Trump is an unindicted coconspirator in Arizona’s case against false electors who allegedly tried to circumvent the electoral process in an effort to install Trump as president for a second term.

In that same podcast episode, Kirk said that being gay is an “error” and compared homosexuality to alcoholism and drug addiction.

“It’s very simple,” Kirk said. “So how do you love somebody? You love them so much to correct their error. So let’s just take the Pride conversation out because people think it’s an identification… It’s not, it’s sexual behavior.”

“But if you meet an alcoholic or you meet a drug addict, do you affirm their struggle?” he continued. “No! You say, you’re better than this, let’s get you free from that, let’s get you free from that activity.”

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