San Diego-based TV preacher Jim Garlow wants Americans to know that if same sex couples start getting married, we’re all going to die.
Appearing Monday on Daystar TV, one of the nation’s largest religious broadcasters, Garlow compared “religious liberty” and “the radical homosexual agenda” to speeding trains headed toward a collision because, as he explained, “they cannot both exist in the same nation at the same time.”
“Wherever you have long term so-called same sex marriage, you also have three huge losses: religious liberties, parental rights and basic, fundamental freedoms,” Garlow said.
He added: “[The] bottom line is, those three things are always casualties after redefinition of marriage.”
Although 42 states define marriage as being between one man and one woman, six states and Washington, D.C. have approved of same sex marriages, yet somehow people in those regions are still free to practice religion, govern their children and enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
But Garlow didn’t stop there.
“Pastors are silenced — we will lose our liberties — we’ll be coerced and forced out of existence as the Church of Jesus Christ was forced underground,” he warned. “It’s not about tolerance, it’s about coercion and crushing and taking away our liberties and freedoms. As people speak out on this issue, we don’t need to apologize for truth, but it may cost us dearly. We’re coming into an era where it could cost us everything, including our lives.”
It is, perhaps, needless to say that same sex couples aren’t typically charged with assaulting or murdering strangers. In fact, crimes against LGBT individuals based on sexual orientation have recently been included included in the categories of hate crimes. The law was inspired by the murder of Matthew Shepard, who was kidnapped and beaten to death in 1998, simply for being gay.
The first anti-LGBT hate crime charge was officially filed last month, after a grand jury in London, Kentucky ruled that two men, ages 37 and 20, kidnapped a gay man and assaulted him in a remote area of Kingdom Come State Park.
It’s not clear why Garlow believes marriage equality threatens his life or the lives of others, and he provided no examples to support his unusual allegations. He has, however, a long history of making alarming comments about gays and lesbians in public life.
During the debate over Prop. 8, California’s same sex marriage ban, Garlow claimed that if the ban failed, Christians would be rounded up and jailed. He also compared children who lost a parent in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to children with same sex parents, because in his mind they too lack a mother or a father.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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