The lawyer who represented Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis after she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses told CBS News that his group was also behind anti-LGBT legislation being pushed in at least 20 states.
After governors in North Carolina and Mississippi recently signed laws limiting the rights of LGBT people, CBS News began investigating why so many anti-LGBT bills were cropping up in state legislatures around the country.
The network found that the conservative group Liberty Counsel had placed lawyers in all 50 states to draft legislation and advise lawmakers on how to rein in the rights of LGBT people in response to a Supreme Court ruling which legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.
CBS determined that bills tied to Liberty Counsel have been filed in at least 20 states so far.
“Well I certainly want to push back against that [same-sex marriage] ruling,” Liberty Counsel founder Matt Staver told CBS News. “It was a wrong ruling. It has no basis in the constitution.”
“The Supreme Court in the 5-4 opinion on marriage in 2015 lit the house on fire,” he added. “All we’re trying to do is control the fire at this point in time.”
Staver insisted that the bills were “about being free to pursue your faith,” and that his group had “no interest in discriminating against anyone.”
He also asserted that companies did not have the guts to go through with boycotts of states that enacted pro-discrimination legislation.
“They’re not gonna follow through,” he declared. “It’s a bluff. They’re not leaving.”
In fact, companies and entertainers have already followed through with threats to boycott North Carolina. PayPal almost immediately cancelled an expansion of 500 jobs, and numerous others have also frozen expansion plans. Both Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr recently cancelled events in the state.
Wake County’s tourism board warned this week that the Raleigh area alone was set to lose out on $24 million in economic benefits.
(h/t: Joe My God)