WASHINGTON -- Two possible GOP presidential contenders and four congressmen are slated to appear in a new documentary that claims the push for gay rights threatens Christianity.
"What kind of freedom of speech do we have if a person who expresses a biblical viewpoint about marriage is told they can't open their businesses in a location?" asks Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and prospective 2016 presidential candidate, in the trailer for the documentary "Light Wins: How To Overcome The Criminalization Of Christianity," which was first reported by Right Wing Watch.
According to an email Porter sent to supporters last week, the documentary also features Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), as well as Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and Steve King (R-Iowa).
None of these lawmakers were featured in the trailer. Their offices did not return requests for comment on their participation and whether they agree with the direction of the documentary, but on Thursday, after this piece was published, Paul told The Huffington Post that he didn't know anything about the film.
"I saw [the news about the documentary] this morning," he said while at the Chamber of Commerce for an event. "I don’t know anything about it. I’ve never heard of it until today."
Porter didn't immediately return a request for additional details on how Paul would be featured in the film.
"If homosexual activists get everything they want, it will be nothing less than the criminalization of Christianity," argues an unidentified man featured in the "Light Wins" trailer. A second trailer, also posted by Right Wing Watch, argues that the Boy Scouts of America "needlessly caved to a dark sexual agenda that violates the safety [and] innocence of our children" perpetrated by the "homosexual lobby."
The Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, is calling on Huckabee and Paul to renounce their involvement in the film. It's the group's first major action targeting a potential 2016 candidate.
Particularly troubling to the group is the appearance of a radical pastor named Scott Lively in the film. Lively has pushed an anti-gay agenda internationally, and is widely seen as a leader in fanning the flames of hate in Uganda that led to legislation criminalizing homosexuality. (The measure was ultimately struck down in court.)
“Hate is not an American value, and we urge Senator Paul and Governor Huckabee to renounce their affiliation with this film as well and categorically reject Scott Lively's horrendous exportation of anti-LGBT bigotry abroad," said JoDee Winterhof, the Human Rights Campaign’s vice president for policy and political affairs. “It would be unconscionable for any American, let alone one who seeks the presidency, to affiliate with such venomous and dangerous extremism.”
Huckabee's appearance in "Light Wins" is not entirely out of character, since he's been known as more socially conservative than many potential candidates. Last month, he argued that states could have the final say on marriage equality, regardless of whether the Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
"I may be lonely, I may be the only one, but I'm going to stand absolutely faithful to the issue of marriage not because it's a politically expedient thing to do because it isn't," Huckabee said. "I'm going to do it because I believe it's the right position, it's the biblical position, it's the historical position."
Paul's involvement in the documentary is more surprising. When asked about same-sex marriage recently, he affirmed that he favors so-called traditional marriage, but believes the Republican Party should tolerate different views.
"If you tell people from Alabama, Mississippi or Georgia, 'You know what, guys, we’ve been wrong, and we’re gonna be the pro-gay-marriage party,' they’re either gonna stay home or -- I mean, many of these people joined the Republican Party because of these social issues," Paul said in an interview last summer.
"So I don’t think we can completely flip," he added. "But can we become, to use the overused term, a bigger tent? I think we can and can agree to disagree on a lot of these issues. I think the party will evolve. It’ll either continue to lose, or it’ll become a bigger place where there’s a mixture of opinions."
In another interview a couple months later, Paul acknowledged that "society's changing" and becoming more accepting of marriage equality.
“The bottom line is, I’m old fashioned, I’m a traditionalist,” he said. “I believe in old-fashioned traditional marriage. But, I don’t really think the government needs to be too involved with this, and I think that the Republican Party can have people on both sides of the issue.”
Igor Bobic contributed reporting.
This post has been updated with comment from Paul.
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