James Dobson endorses controversial politician who urged burning all gay pride flags

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James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, has endorsed Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams, who is making anti-LGBTQ rhetoric based on “biblical values” a centerpiece of his campaign for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from the state’s fifth district, which is Dobson’s Colorado Springs voting district.

James Dobson speaks at the Justice Sunday III rally on January 8, 2006, in Philadelphia. Sponsored by the Family Research Council, the rally was held one day before the start of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

The endorsement from Dobson, who is 88 and semi-retired from the James Dobson Family Institute, comes two weeks after Williams sent out a state GOP anti-gay pride e-mail that has been condemned as hateful by other GOP leaders, and one week before voting ends for an expensive primary election that some have called “a battle for the soul of the GOP.”

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“Dave will steadfastly uphold our Christian conservative values, including the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty,” said Dobson, in an undated announcement from the state GOP. “He will be a dedicated advocate for the institution of the family.”

“For years, I have joined millions of people across America in praying that God would raise-up leaders to restore this great nation. I am excited that Dave answered that call,” Dobson said.

Dobson said he was endorsing Williams “as a private individual,” not as the representative of his ministry, which confirmed the endorsement’s authenticity. (The ministry recently has swatted down fake Dobson endorsements of CBD gummies.)

“Dr. James Dobson has joined President Donald J. Trump in supporting Chairman Dave Williams.”

“Dr. James Dobson has joined President Donald J. Trump in supporting Chairman Dave Williams,” said the announcement. “Dr. Dobson is the foremost national leader, radio host and advocate for biblical principles, as well as the family, and knows Chairman Dave Williams will always fight for our Christian conservative values.”

Meanwhile, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson has endorsed Williams’ more traditionally conservative competitor, Jeff Crank, who has worked with and is supported by Americans for Prosperity, the libertarian activist group funded by billionaire Charles Koch.

Dobson’s endorsement comes as Williams is facing growing pressure to resign from more than a dozen county GOP organizations who are worried about him alienating even more voters in a state that has gone from red to purple to blue. Unaffiliated voters outnumber both Democrats and once-dominant Republicans.

Williams also has received endorsements from Trump, the far-right House Freedom Fund, the National Rifle Association, Colorado for Life, Moms for America, Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and far-right GOP Reps. Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, Thomas Massie and Paul Gosar.

Promo from Denver7 TV station news

Williams gained nationwide fame this month after he sent out an official GOP statement condemning anti-gay pride month.

“The month of June has arrived and, once again, the godless groomers in our society want to attack what is decent, holy, and righteous so they can ultimately harm our children,” said the email, which referred to LGBTQ people as “creeps,” “degenerates,” “godless,” “groomers,” “predators,” “radicals” and “reprobates.”

The GOP email arrived as Colorado Springs prepared for its Sunday celebration of Pikes Peak Pride. The city has been a center of anti-LGBTQ culture war since Dobson relocated Focus to the city in 1991 and used the ministry’s resources to promote Amendment 2, a 1922 anti-gay-rights measure that narrowly won at the ballot box after an ugly campaign but was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

LGBTQ issues continue to reverberate in the state, as two events from Tuesday demonstrate.

In one, the man who killed five and injured 25 in the 2022 killing spree at the LGBTQ-friendly Club Q in the Springs pled guilty to 74 federal charges in a plea deal that sentences him to 55 life sentences in prison plus another 190 years.

In another, Christian cake “artist” Jack Phillips, who won a previous Supreme Court case allowing him to not serve customers wanting same-sex wedding cakes, defended his refusal to make two cakes: one with transgender themes and another showing Satan smoking marijuana.

Defending Phillips is the Alliance Defending Freedom, the powerhouse conservative legal group founded 30 years ago by Dobson and other religious right leaders.

“It is time – past time – for Jack to be able to freely conduct business in accordance with his faith,” said Focus on the Family, the ministry Dobson founded but left in 2010.

Related articles:

Conservative Christians push back against Gay Pride month

This is how unhinged Focus on the Family has become | Opinion by Mark Wingfield

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