Notoriously antigay Colorado pastor Kevin Swanson closed out this weekend's National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa — attended by three of the most antigay Republicans running for president — by blaming gay characters in popular films like Harry Potter and How to Train Your Dragon for the “immorality” that he perceives to be plaguing the country.
“…We are on the very cusp of judgment as I see it and we need to call America to repent,” Swanson said in his vitriolic speech Saturday night. He continued:
“America, repent that Dumbledore emerged as a homosexual mentor for Harry Potter, that Hiccup’s mentor in How to Train Your Dragon emerged as a homosexual himself in order that history might repeat itself one more time, in order that little six- and seven- and eight-year-olds might stumble, in order that tens of millions of parents, it would be better that a millstone be hanged around their neck and they be drowned at the bottom of the sea than that there would be so many people stumbling so many children in public schools, in movie theaters, in homes in which children are raised to be stumbled by the Dumbledores and by the mentors of Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon.”
Read Rachel Maddow's take on Swanson's rants here.
The conference — which Swanson organized — was attended by Republican presidential candidates Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Ted Cruz, each of whom has stressed anti-LGBT themes in their campaigns.
All three spoke at the event, each furthering the antigay rhetoric they are so well-known for, focusing on the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in June, which mandated nationwide marriage equality.
“No Earthly court can change the definition of marriage, no federal government, no ACLU should be able to take away our religious liberty rights,” Jindal said in his speech. “We were given those by God almighty.”
“They are the Supreme Court. They are not the supreme branch or the supreme being. They can’t make law,” said Huckabee when he took the stage.
“Courts do not make law and nothing in the Constitution supports that lawless decision,” Cruz said when he addressed the conference.
Watch pastor Swanson’s homophobic attack on fictional children’s characters in the video below.