A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama has appeared multiple times on a radio program hosted by a conservative pastor who believes homosexuality should be punished by death.
Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has appeared at least five times on the Generation Radio show hosted by Kevin Swanson, reported CNN’s KFile.
The Colorado pastor preaches that both the Old and New Testaments call for the death penalty for LGBT people, and even the religiously conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) disavowed Swanson after appearing together at a “religious liberties” conference during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The hardline conservative Moore, who is running a hotly contested runoff primary race against fellow Republican and incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), agrees with Swanson that Christianity should play a greater role in American social life.
The pair agreed during one radio program that states should be permitted to legalize discrimination against LGBT people, and they complained on other programs that prayer should be promoted in public schools and that judges should be permitted to cite the Bible in criminal cases.
A spokesman for Moore downplayed the appearances, which took place as recently as February.
“Appearing in any interview is never an endorsement of the interviewer,” said spokesman Brett Doster. “Responding to CNN is a great example.”
Moore has called homosexuality an “inherent evil” and a “crime against nature,” but refused to say in 2015 whether it should be punishable by death.
“I’m not here to outline any punishments for sodomy,” Moore said in video posted online two years ago. “That’s far beyond any issues I’ve come in contact with,” Moore responded. “I can’t help what some people say, what some people do.”
Moore was suspended as chief justice last year for instructing Alabama probate judges to defy a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.