One South Carolina state senator is a little too comfortable with both his love of a symbol of racism and his hatred of LGBT Americans.
All eyes in the nation were on South Carolina's legislature Monday as they discussed a proposed bill to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. In what ended up a historic landslide 37-3 vote, members of the state senate voted to remove the flag.
One senator, however, wasn't going down without a fight. In a three-minute speech that, at best could be described as "unhinged," Sen. Lee Bright (R) used his time at the podium to rail against LGBT rights, warning his fellow lawmakers that "the devil is taking control of this land and we're not stopping him!"
The conservative senator cited Bible verses, invoked President Ronald Reagan and complained that the White House was "lit up in the abomination colors" for Gay Pride. Most shockingly, he referenced the U.S. Civil War and even suggested that his fellow lawmakers "find some way to push back against the Federal Government like our forefathers did."
Bright's full statement is below.
Members of the Senate, I heard our President sing a religious hymn and then Friday night I watched the White House be lit up in the abomination colors. It's time. We've got Amazing Grace, we've got people in the stands here of faith. It's time for the church to rise up. It's time for the state of South Carolina to rise up. Romans chapter one is clear. The Bible is clear. This country was founded on Judeo Christian principles and they are under assault by the men in black robes who were not elected by you. We better make a stand. What I'd like to see is these folks that are working in the position of dealing with these marriage certificates not to have to betray their faith or have to compromise their faith in order to subject themselves to the tyranny of five judges. What we need to do is to debate this on the floor.
Our governor called us in to deal with the flag that sits out front. Let's deal with the nation of sin that we face today. We talk about abortion but this gay marriage thing, I believe we will be one nation gone under. Like President Reagan said 'If we're not one nation under God, we will be one nation gone under.' And to sanctify deviant behavior from five judges. It's time for us to make our stand. It's time to make our stand and we're not doing it. We can rally together and talk about a flag all we want but the Devil is taking control of this land and we're not stopping him. It's time to make our stand. Let South Carolina discuss it. If the state's got to get out of the business of marriage then let's get out of the business of marriage because we cannot succumb to what's to come of the future of this nation.
Now I believe that Christ teaches us to love the homosexual but He also teaches us to stand in the gap against sin and we need to make our stand. I know how people feel, of all colors, about this. I know that we need to respect our brother and love our brother but we cannot respect this sin in the state of South Carolina so I'm asking you to open up the signing dye and let's deal with marriage. If we're not going to find some way to push back against the Federal Government like our forefathers did or push back against a tyrannical government like the founders of this nation did, let's at least not put these citizens of South Carolina in a position where they've got to choose between their faith and their jobs.
Bright, a Tea Party conservative who was handpicked by 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz to run his campaign in the Palmetto State, has been a vocal proponent for keeping the Confederate flag and has even launched a "keep your hands off my flag" bumper sticker campaign. He has been a strong opponent of abortion and has been a sponsor of the failed "Life Begins at Conception Act" for three years.