Antigay preacher Gordon Klingenschmitt, elected to the Colorado House of Representatives last November, had predicted he would "tone down" his rhetoric as a state legislator, but on his TV program he's continuing to offer plenty of the hateful and bizarre rants he's known for.
Wednesday on his Pray in Jesus Name program, Klingenschmitt addressed a recent Associated Press-GfK poll that found while a majority of respondents supported equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, a majority also believed wedding-related businesses should be able to deny service to these couples if the business operator has objections rooted in religion. Fifty-seven percent of respondents took that position, but Klingenschmitt is worried about the 43 percent who didn't.
"They want to force Christians to participate in someone else's acts of sodomy," Klingenschmitt said. "And if they won't participate, then the Christians should be punished or fined or bankrupted or driven out of business. I think that is not just anti-Christian discrimination, it is open season persecution."
This is a sign of a "demonic spirit of persecution at work," he continued, adding that LGBT people have "a demonic spirit that is ruling in their heart and now they have lost their soul." It's also a sign that the end of the world is coming, he said.
"In the long run, this will result not only in fines but in jail time for some Christians, which is a prediction and sign that the end times are really upon us," Klingenschmitt said. "When the Antichrist rises up to persecute Christians and behead us and throw us in jail for our Christian faith, you don't think it's going to be over things like this?"
Klingenschmitt might argue that he made Wednesday's remarks in his role as a clergy member, not an elected official -- but he doesn't cease being an elected official when he's not in the House chamber. See him continue to spout his extreme rhetoric in the clip at the bottom of this page, courtesy of Right Wing Watch.
By the way, regarding exemptions for businesses from antidiscrimination laws, Klingenschmitt last month sided with a baker who refused to put an antigay message on a cake, arguing that no business owner should be forced to act against his or her beliefs, whatever they are. He said he planned to draft legislation to "repair an existing flaw in Colorado's nondiscrimination statues" and assure that "every baker, every artist, every person in Colorado is not compelled by the government to produced anything they personally disagree with."