Liberty Counsel Has Been Working With Right Wing Lawmakers to Draft and Pass Anti-LGBT Legislation in at Least 20 States
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Right now there are over 200 anti-LGBT bills making their way through at least 34 states across the nation. Many are so-called "religious freedom" bills, all somehow seek to "protect" people from having to serve, interact with, or even share public accommodations with LGBT people.
CBS News reports that one group is responsible for some of the anti-LGBT legislation in most of those states.
"Liberty Counsel has been helping to draft legislation for conservative lawmakers in at least 20 states," CBS' Dean Reynolds and Scott Pelley reported Wednesday.
Liberty Counsel, which came to national attention by defending Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, has "helped author many of those measures protecting religion over sexual orientation," CBS reports. The anti-LGBT Christian legal group appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of anti-gay hate groups – a fact left out of CBS's reporting.
"It is only about being free to pursue your faith," Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel's founder and chairman, told CBS. "We have no interest in discriminating against anyone." He says all his legislation has "the same intent and that is to protect religious freedom."
But is that true?
One group questions Liberty Counsel's motives, especially when it comes to so-called "bathroom bills" than ban transgender people from using restrooms that comply with their gender identity.
"This is Liberty Counsel's attempt to retain donors and relevance. After losing marriage equality, they're hitting back by attacking our most vulnerable population - the transgender community," Eliel Cruz, Executive Director of Faith In America, told The New Civil Rights Movement via email.
"Liberty Counsel is using 'religious freedom' as a guise to legislate ignorance and hate. And yet, there is not one single verse in the bible that speaks to transgender identities. In order for Liberty Counsel, and any other Christian, to claim trans identities go against their religious beliefs they would have to invent scripture that's simply isn't there. This is not about religious freedom and just like with marriage equality -- they'll lose these battles too," Cruz says.
Watch CBS News' report: