Rachel Maddow expressed her dismay after three Republican presidential hopefuls joined the National Religious Liberties Conference this weekend, pointing to the anti-gay rhetoric of the event's organizer.
GOP candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal were among the bold-faced names present at the two-day event, held last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa. Still, most headlines focused on Pastor Kevin Swanson, the conference's chief organizer, who linked a same-sex kiss to devastating wildfires in his home state of Colorado and condemned Harry Potter because author J.K. Rowling specified that a principal character was a gay man.
"This is a political event. This is a Republican presidential candidates' event," Maddow emphasized. "It really was a ‘kill-the-gays’ call to arms. This was a conference about the necessity of the death penalty as a punishment for homosexuality."
Pointing to Swanson's history of anti-LGBT remarks, she added, "He has spoken in the past about the need to execute gay people in order to live in a properly Christian society. He did not hide that light under a bushel once the candidates were there."
She ended her report on a humorous note, suggesting that Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto ask Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal about their appearances at the event during Tuesday's Republican presidential primary debate.
"There are ways you could do it," she said. "You could maybe just sketch a little tableaux of gay people being stoned to death or thrown off cliffs."
Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal -- consider yourselves burned.
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