–Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R), in prepared remarks after being presented with the first-ever “Samuel Adams Religious Freedom Award” by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins for signing into law a “religious freedom” bill that allows discrimination against LGBT people by citing their personal religious objections to homosexuality.
Bryant was honored with the award at the Watchmen on the Wall Conference held in Washington, D.C. last week, reports Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way. The conference is sponsored by the anti-LGBT Family Research Council for pastors and religious leaders, encouraging them to “engage issues such as the erosion of religious liberty, ascendance of the LGBT agenda and disregard for the dignity of human life.”
After being presented with the award, Bryant praised Perkins for his work in promoting socially conservative values, comparing his fight against secular American culture to the Biblical story of David and Goliath. Bryant also gloated of his victory in Mississippi, where he refused to bend to pressure from outside groups, including the state’s business community, to veto the religious freedom bill, accusing progressives of deciding to “pour their anger” on him for signing the bill into law. He also compared the backlash he received for signing the law to a form of religious persecution, implying Christians would risk their lives to be able to continue discriminating against LGBT people and speaking out against homosexuality.
“Did they believe that we would simply walk away from those freedoms that our forefathers died for?” Bryant asked rhetorically. “That Samuel Adams and those men that were divinely inspired to write that Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, did they think we would simply abandon that? They don’t know us very well, do they? They don’t know that Christians have been persecuted throughout the ages.”
See the video of Bryant’s remarks below, as captured by Right Wing Watch: