Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee, two prospective GOP presidential candidates, appear in a new documentary that depicts LGBT equality as a threat to religious liberty. The documentary also features appearances from so-called "ex-homosexuals" and a conservative activist linked to anti-gay human rights violations.
Slated for a February 24 release at the National Religious Broadcaster's convention in Nashville, Religious Right activist Janet Porter's "Light Wins: How to Overcome the Criminalization of Christianity" features testimony from a wide range of right-wing activists, including anti-feminist crusader Phyllis Schlafly, evangelical polemicist David Barton, creationist Ken Ham, and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. In one of the film's trailers, Porter carries a lantern in the woods as she ominously intones that LGBT rights advocates aim to persecute Christians.
An email promoting the film, first reported by Right Wing Watch, also promises appearances from Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Steve King (R-IA), in addition to the supposed ex-gays:
Besides Huckabee, none of the prominent GOP politicians appear in the documentary's trailers.
"What kind of freedom of speech do we have if a person who expresses a biblical viewpoint about marriage is told they can't open their businesses in a location?" Huckabee, a Southern Baptist preacher and former Arkansas governor, asks in the trailer. Huckabee, who recently called for states to mount massive resistance if the Supreme Court rules for nationwide equality this summer, has touted the film for exposing "the frightening trend not to simply ignore Christian believers, but to rid society of us altogether."
Paul, Huckabee's potential presidential rival, hasn't been as outspoken against LGBT rights, although he is an avowed "traditionalist" who says he believes in "old-fashioned traditional marriage."
The documentary also includes interviews with Scott Lively, a notorious far-right activist whose international crusades against homosexuality have come under media scrutiny in recent years. While Lively has distanced himself from the legislation, he has been linked to a Ugandan measure, since struck down, that imposed the death penalty for homosexuality. Though he hasn't embraced his role in that country's anti-gay crackdown, he has personally claimed credit for Russia's draconian law against so-called gay propaganda.
Citing Lively's appearance, the Human Rights Campaign is urging Huckabee and Paul to renounce the documentary.
"Scott Lively’s long record of exporting vicious anti-LGBT bigotry is horrifying,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global, said in a statement. “Lively’s words and actions harm LGBT people from the United States to Uganda and beyond. He is one of the most notorious extremists engaged in this work, and we urge all Americans to reject his brand of fundamentally dangerous advocacy."
In addition to his international anti-gay work, Lively, who's currently mounting a quixotic bid for a Massachusetts congressional seat, is the author of "The Pink Swastika," a book that purports to expose the Nazi Party as a gay cabal.