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Friday, Jun 19 2015

MEMO: Social Issues Front and Center at Faith and Freedom Conference

Jun 19, 2015

TO:          Interested Parties
FROM:    Jessica Mackler, President, American Bridge 21st Century
RE:          Social Issues Front and Center at Faith and Freedom Conference
DATE:     June 19, 2015

The gravitational pull of religious conservatives at this weekend’s Faith and Freedom Conference in D.C. is too much to resist for the Republican presidential field. Look no further than their partner, Concerned Women of America, to see that social issues will be front and center. For a primer on the Koch-backed CWA, read Bridge Project’s just-released report here.

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and the rest of the GOP contingency (remember Chris Christie?) will be speaking in between breakout sessions on “The War On Christianity: How Religious Freedom Is Under Attack” and “Tolerance Vs. True Love: When it Takes Courage to Protect Your Conscience & Compassion to Reach the Lost.” Attendees will be demanding their speeches focus on social conservative issues; after all, that’s why they’ve all trekked to Washington.

Here are the top issues we expect Republicans to face this weekend:

1. Reaction To Bush’s Stance On Transgender Military Service

Jeb Bush on Wednesday responded to a question on transgender military service with an answer that will please nobody, saying, “I’m sure there’s a role for everyone to play in the armed forces,” and “I think it would depend on the specific role, whether it’s appropriate or not.” Lindsey Graham took the same position as Bush – how will other candidates react when asked about transgender people joining the military?

2. Siding With Pope Francis Or The Kochs on Climate Change?

CNN recently reported that the Koch-funded Heartland Institute is “the headquarters for the U.S.-based opposition to Pope Francis’ climate change plans.”Bush and Santorum have already told the pope to butt out of the debate on climate change, even though they both appeal to religion in their rhetoric. Where will other Republican candidates fall?

3. Tripping Over Religious Discrimination Laws

RFRA is the prime rib for social conservatives eager to hear how their candidates will fight for their religious “freedom,” even if it sends shock waves through independents. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson all supported Mike Pence’s RFRA push.

4. Out-Of-Touch On Marriage Equality

With the Supreme Court set to rule on whether state bans on same-sex marriages are constitutional, the Republicans’ out-of-touch stance opposing marriage equality will be out in full force this weekend. Scott Walker took it a step further and supports a constitutional amendment to let states continue to ban same-sex marriages…joining forces with noted moderate Ted Cruz. How soon before others are forced to take this extreme position?

5. Anti-Women’s Health Care

Scott Walker is facing trouble in Wisconsin for forcing ultrasounds before a woman can obtain an abortion and opposing exceptions to choice for rape, incest, or life of the mother – but don’t forget that Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, and Ben Carson all have extreme records on women’s health.

Published: Jun 19, 2015

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