Former NFL player and football TV analyst Craig James is fully embracing his new job as an anti-gay activist for religious-right groups. Now he’s suggesting that supporters of LGBT equality are doing Satan’s work.

Late last week the Texan talked on a radio program from the Family Research Council — which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels an anti-gay hate group — about professional sports teams that have come out in support of LGBT equality. Several pro franchises have filed briefs supporting marriage equality in a case the U.S. Supreme Court case is about to consider. Our friends at Right Wing Watch have the report about James’ comments on the radio program:

James worried that the decision by the New England Patriots, the Tampa Bay Rays and the San Francisco Giants to join the marriage brief could cause an “implosion” in team locker rooms and intimidate players who oppose marriage equality from speaking their minds.

“If I were a current player in that locker room and my livelihood depended on me being quiet or losing it because of my belief system, I worry, I wonder,” he said. “So, that’s Satan working on us.”

Later in the interview, Perkins warned of a coming clash between… Read More

by Dan Quinn

The Texas-based, religious-right group Liberty Institute has hit a repulsive new low: equating the firing of an anti-gay sports commentator/politician in the United States with the January massacre of 17 people by Islamic extremists in France.

In a series of tweets this month, Liberty Institute has been claiming that sports commentator Craig James of Texas and two other people have lost their jobs because of their Christian beliefs. The latest such tweet was this morning:

It is tyranny: freedom for thee only if you agree with me. #JeSuisBob #JeSuisCraigJames #JeSuisEricWalsh

— Liberty Institute (@advanceliberty) February 23, 2015

It is tyranny: freedom for thee only if you agree with me. #JeSuisBob #JeSuisCraigJames #JeSuisEricWalsh

First, the claims about why these individuals lost their jobs is in dispute. But in any case, note that each of the tweets includes hashtags that play off #JeSuisCharlieHebdo, a hashtag that went viral after the massacre at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The Paris attacks also included murders at a Kosher deli and of a policewoman near a Jewish school. (A shrine in memory of the 17 victims of the terrorist attacks has been vandalized in recent weeks.)

You might… Read More

Liberty Institute, a viciously anti-gay religious-right litigation group based in Plano near Dallas, announced today that it will represent a college football analyst who was dumped by Fox Sports for anti-gay comments he made when running for a U.S. Senate seat from Texas in 2012.

In an email to his group’s supporters this afternoon, Liberty Institute President Kelly Shackelford said:

I’m writing to let you know that well-known college football analyst Craig James has hired Liberty Institute to represent him after Fox Sports made national headlines by terminating him because of his personal religious beliefs.

Attorneys for Liberty Institute have contacted Fox Sports Southwest.  We are demanding that they reinstate Craig to his position as on-air college football analyst and stop discriminating against him.

Here is a letter from Liberty Institute to Fox Sports. If Fox Sports fails to rehire James, the group writes, “millions of Americans will be left with the impression that you do not respect religious liberty and Liberty Institute will be forced to pursue subsequent legal options.”

James is a former SMU and NFL running back who worked as a college football analyst for ESPN before running for a U.S. Senate seat from Texas in… Read More

Rick Santorum, a favorite of religious-right activists, has endorsed Ted Cruz in the Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate seat from Texas. Religious-right leaders meeting at a Texas ranch last January endorsed Santorum in his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. Santorum suspended his campaign in April.

In addition to his opposition to equal rights for gay Americans and to abortion, Santorum thinks states should have the right to ban contraception. He has also argued that health insurance shouldn’t cover prenatal testing because such procedures, he says, lead to more abortions. And he calls colleges “indoctrination mills” that threaten the country because they lead students to question their religious faith.

Earlier this month Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin also endorsed Cruz, a former solicitor general for Texas.

Polls show that the frontrunner in the Texas Senate race is Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Dewhurst has the support of various religious-right leaders as well, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Gov. Rick Perry is also backing Dewhurst.

Other Republican candidates for the Senate seat include former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and former ESPN commentator Craig James.… Read More

How quickly they turn on you. Tom Leppert won his 2007 race for Dallas mayor after supporters attacked his main opponent for being gay. Now Leppert is under attack by his opponents in the race for a U.S. Senate seat for “celebrating gay pride” while he served as mayor.

On Wednesday Leppert and other Republican candidates for the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison participated in a debate sponsored by the right-wing Eagle Forum at the Dallas Country Club. Among the candidates at the debate were Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, ESPN sports analyst Craig James and Driftwood mediator Lela Pittenger. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is also seeking the Senate seat, didn’t attend.

Leppert’s opponents criticized him for (gasp!) attending two gay pride parades when he was Dallas mayor. According to the Dallas Morning News, Cruz argued that Leppert’s participation in the events sent a wrong message to the public:

“When the mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride, that’s a statement. It’s not a statement I believe in.”

James moved beyond just criticizing Leppert and insisted that sexual orientation is a “choice.” From the Dallas Morning News story:… Read More