BATON ROUGE, LA - Family Research Council Action PAC Chairman Tony Perkins, a former Louisiana legislator, sent the following letter of endorsement to U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) who is running for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana's December 6th runoff election:
"Congratulations on your success in the primary election this week. For the sake of Louisiana and our nation, I pray you have continued success on December 6, so that we can finally have the conservative, common sense representation in the U.S. Senate that the people of our state deserve.
"As you know, I previously provided my personal endorsement to Colonel Rob Maness in the primary. In a letter last month to Louisiana pastors, I explained that my decision was based on two things: I) My belief that Col. Maness is a man of principle and a fellow veteran who would defend religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, marriage and family at any cost; and 2) My lingering concern about your commitment to the defense of religious liberty over laws that would seek to provide special protection to individuals based upon their sexual behavior.
"Based upon our conversation today and your most recent statements in the press on this issue, I now believe that you share our commitment to religious freedom, and you agree it is of paramount importance to our nation. I applaud your remarks at a gathering of pro-life and pro-family groups in Baton Rouge yesterday, in which you stated unequivocally:
"'We know that religious freedom is at stake here. As the Hobby Lobby case demonstrated, religious freedom and our First Amendment rights are being increasingly attacked. We all oppose physically, violent acts. We should also oppose using the long arm of the stale to intimidate people of faith. I will continue to oppose laws such as ENDA that can be used as an excuse -- for example as the Houston mayor did with a similar law -- to use legal intimidation to attempt to limit freedom of faith and freedom of speech. All Americans, no matter what our political persuasion, should oppose such laws. Let's be clear: in this election, there is much that hangs in the balance. It will be the unborn, it will be freedom of faith, it will be freedom of speech. We all must understand the tremendous implications of these challenges.'
"The above statement taken with your responses this fall to the candidate questionnaire circulated by the Louisiana Family Forum and published in its resulting Voter Guide provides greater clarity. In response to the question of whether you support or oppose "adding 'sexual orientation,' 'gender identity,' and 'gender expression' to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in anti-discrimination laws," you responded, "OPPOSE."
"Because I believe you to be a man of principle and a man of your word, I am encouraged by these latest developments. It is critical to the pro-family movement in America that any conservative elected to the U.S. Senate clearly understands and acknowledges the severity of the threats posed to religious liberty -- our first freedom -- and pledges to defend it. I believe you have now done so.
"I previously shared with you my grave concern that, while we have long agreed on most matters of public policy, you were one of only 8 Republicans in Congress who voted in 2009 in favor of the federal Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity measure (H.R. 1913, the so-called "Hate Crimes" bill.) You have now explained that you do not support the elevation of sexual liberty over religious liberty and the freedom of speech.
"As you noted in your remarks yesterday, everyone now recognizes the inherent danger in such legislation. The "Hate Crimes" law was the starting point of the radical Left's effort to redefine marriage, and has led to the current effort to have sexual preference legally recognized as a special category of protected classes along with race and religion. The confrontation this creates with religious liberty is simply unavoidable, and Louisiana needs and deserves a senator who will stand unapologetically for our first freedom
"I am now convinced that you are committed to take that stand, and for that reason, I am happy to provide my full endorsement of your candidacy," concluded Perkins.