Ted Cruz's "Rally for Religious Liberty" To Feature "Special Guests Victimized By Government Persecution"

GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz intends to feature a guest list straight out of the Americans United Hall of Infamy for his "Rally for Religious Liberty" this Friday at the Iowa State Fair.

Here is a list of Cruz's guests from Slate:

  • Dick and Betty Odgaard: A Mennonite couple who was fined $5,000 by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission late last year for refusing to provide service to a gay couple who wanted to get married in their wedding venue, a former church that the Odgaards had converted into a for-profit art gallery, flower shop, and bistro. Rather than open their doors to gays and lesbians for future ceremonies, the Odgaards announced they’d stop holding weddings of any kind earlier this year and ultimately closed their venue last month.
  • Barronelle Stutzman: A Washington state florist who was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine—plus $1 in court costs and fees—earlier this year after a judge ruled that she had violated the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws by refusing to provide flowers for the wedding of one of her longtime customers, who she knew to be gay.
  • Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon bakers who have been ordered by the state’s labor commission to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple for whom the Kleins refused to make a wedding cake. The bakers have appealed the ruling and, according to the Oregonian, it could take “months or even years before it reaches the appellate court.”
  • Blaine Adamson: The owner of a Kentucky print shop found to be in violation of a city law that bans discrimination based on—you guessed it—a person's sexual orientation after the store refused to make t-shirts for the Lexington Pride Festival in 2012 for a local LGBTQ group. A circuit county judge, though, overturned the 2014 ruling earlier this year.
  • Phillip Monk: A retired senior master sergeant in the Air Force who claims that he was abruptly reassigned to a new position in 2013 after he had a heated disagreement with his commanding officer over how to reprimand a subordinate who had told trainees about his own religious objections to homosexuality.
  • Kelvin Cochran: A former Atlanta fire chief who was forced to step down earlier this year by the city’s mayor after Cochran self-published a book that described homosexuality as a 'sexual perversion' that he compared to bestiality, copies of which he had distributed to several city employees. Mayor Kasim Reed maintains that his decision to terminate Cochran wasn’t based on the fire chief’s religious beliefs but instead on a variety of other reasons, including that he didn’t have clearance from City Hall to publish the book in the first place."

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Oh boy. We predict a whole lot of navel-gazing, fear-mongering, and ruminations on what it means to be discriminated against as an American Christian at this event.