Published: Sat, November 18, 2017 @ 6:37 p.m.
IRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP)
A smiling Roy Moore stood shoulder to shoulder with his fiercest religious allies.
Flanked by a huge sign for Moore’s Senate campaign, one supporter railed against the “LGBT mafia” and “homosexualist gay terrorism.” Another warned that “homosexual sodomy” destroys those who participate in it and the nations that allow it. And still another described same-sex marriage as “a mirage” because “it’s phony and fake.”
Thursday’s news conference was designed to send a powerful message to the political world that religious conservatives across America remain committed to Moore, a Christian conservative and former judge whose Alabama Senate campaign has been rocked by mounting allegations of sexual misconduct. The event also revealed an aggressive strain of homophobia rarely seen in mainstream politics – in recent years, at least.
In the days since, religious liberals have stepped forward to express their opposition to Moore. More than 50 Alabama pastors signed a letter saying Moore has demonstrated “extremist values” incompatible with traditional Christianity and is unfit to serve in the Senate. And an anti-Moore rally at a Birmingham church on Saturday drew more than 100 people, some of whom carried signs decrying his opposition to gay rights.
But in a Senate campaign suddenly hyper focused on Moore’s relationships with teenage girls decades ago, Moore’s hardline stance on gay rights and other LGBT issues has become little more than an afterthought for many voters as Election Day approaches.
Moore first caught the attention of many in the LGBT community after describing homosexual conduct as “an inherent evil against which children must be protected” in a 2002 child custody case involving a lesbian mother. In a 2005 television interview, Moore said “homosexual conduct should be illegal.” He also said there’s no difference between gay sex and sex with a cow, horse or dog.
Moore’s stand – combined with the fiery…