You already knew that HB2 is a terrible, discriminatory bill. Perhaps you don’t realize just how bad the man behind the bill really is, though.
Meet Mat Staver, former Seventh-Day Adventist pastor turned Southern Baptist and former dean of Liberty Law School. Staver’s job is quite different today. The Advocate described him this way:
Attorney Mat Staver and his wife, Anita, founded the Liberty Counsel in 1989, and have since worked to prevent and attack the rights of LGBT people around the world. In fact, Liberty Counsel and its leaders have compared LGBT equality advocates to terrorists, said the country’s evolution toward embracing LGBT people will cause God to destroy America, and even advocates for draconian laws around the world that make it a crime to be LGBT.
In addition to his work on HB2, Staver has championed bills and people known throughout the country to violate human rights and spread hate and misinformation.
Kim Davis and the Right to Discriminate
Staver is perhaps best known as the lawyer for Kentucky’s County Clerk, Kim Davis, who was infamously jailed for refusing to perform her job issuing marriage licenses when the applicants were same-sex couples. Staver likened her to Holocaust victims.
‘What happened in Nazi Germany, what happened there first, they removed the Jews from government public employment, then they stopped patronizing them in their private businesses, then they continued to stigmatize them, then they were the ‘problems,’ then they killed them,’ Staver said. ‘The fact of the matter is, she has a right to this employment and you don’t lose your constitutional liberties just because you are employed by the government.’
The Liberty Counsel has led the fight to halt a woman’s right to make private decisions about her reproductive health by defending in court the anti-abortion groups who introduced “personhood” bills in several states, such as Oklahoma. Staver served as the attorney for the group Personhood Now, whose website states that:
‘The aim of state and federal personhood amendment is different from measures that try to regulate abortion such as waiting periods or parental consent bills,’ the site said. ‘Personhood confronts abortion head on and says, ‘Stop it now!’ Personhood calls it like is: Every human being is a person, and you should never intentionally take the life of an innocent person.’
Hatred Toward LGBTQ People
While working as a lawyer to protect unconstitutional acts against everyone who disagrees with a Christian worldview, Staver has made some ridiculous and inflammatory, not to mention incorrect, statements regarding LGBTQ people. Here are some of the most outrageous:
[On SCOTUS’s same-sex marriage decision] ‘It’s shameful for the Supreme Court for what they have done to marriage as it has been shameful in the history of the court with regards to the Dred Scott decision or the Buck v. Bell decision, where they said that the state of Virginia can forcibly sterilize her because of this eugenics idea that they want to eliminate the undesirables of the world. That was the shameful day that we ultimately look back with shame upon and I think this is going to be one of those same kind of situations.’
[On not allowing the Boy Scouts to discriminate against LGBTQ folks] ‘Now [the group will] allow homosexual young boys in the Scouts and allow homosexual leaders in the Scouts, and what are you going to have? You are going to have all kinds of sexual molestation. This is a playground for pedophiles to go and have all these boys as objects of their lust.’
[On just hating LGBTQ folks, because] ‘When you consider that the life of the average homosexual is not controlled by reason, not controlled by the will, it’s really a life controlled by this lust, this passion, that has kind of overwhelmed them, and so you have kind of the essence of a lack of self control.’
So there you have it! This bigoted man is leading the way to legalize bills like NC’s HB2. It must feel really good to supporters of the bill to be on this man’s side.
Featured image via Getty Images/Ty Wright