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Cruz Campaign Press Release - Ted Cruz Announces Religious Liberty Heroes to be Featured at South Carolina Rally

November 02, 2015

Targeted Americans of Faith to Tell Their Stories

HOUSTON, Texas – The Cruz for President campaign today announced the names of five Americans targeted for their religious faith who will be featured at the South Carolina Rally for Religious Liberty.

"I am proud to be joined by such a heroic group of Americans," said Ted Cruz. "Increasingly, renegade government officials seek to coerce people of faith either to act in a manner that violates their faith or forfeit their career. The right to religious liberty built America. Denying that right is un-American, and it is morally wrong."

Joining Ted Cruz in Greenville will be:

  • Coach Joe Kennedy, an assistant football coach in Bremerton, Washington, who was recently placed on leave by his school district for praying silently on the field. Kennedy has been in the habit of praying at games since 2008, and was often joined by students. He is currently barred from participating in any activities related to the high school football program.
  • Pastor David Welch of Texas was among the five pastors whose sermons and personal communications pertaining to homosexuality and transgender issues were subpoenaed by the mayor of Houston. The pastor was even ordered to turn over all communications with members of his congregation regarding a controversial law supported by the mayor's office. The pastors refused to comply, and after local and national public outcry, Mayor Annise Parker ultimately rescinded the order.
  • College student Angela Hildenbrand was valedictorian of her Texas high school in 2011 and was threatened with jail if she exercised her right to pray during her graduation speech. Thanks to an emergency motion from the Liberty Institute and support from Texas officials, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a district judge's restraining order and Hildenbrand was allowed to exercise her constitutional rights.
  • Dick and Betty Odgaard of Grimes, Iowa, will join Cruz. When the Odgaards declined to host a same-sex wedding ceremony in a historic chapel they owned, a complaint was filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. The Odgaards were forced to settle, paid thousands of dollars in fines, and as a result have closed their wedding business.

The five will share their stories of government abuse, and the rally will call attention to recent acts of government-sanctioned religious persecution against Americans of faith.

Participating with Cruz in the Rally for Religious Liberty will be Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, as well as Jason and David Benham, entrepreneurs and former major league baseball players who were targeted for their beliefs about the definition of marriage. Other VIP participants will be announced in the coming days.

In August, a similar rally hosted by Cruz in Des Moines, Iowa drew more than 2,500 attendees.

The South Carolina Rally for Religious Liberty will be held at Bob Jones University at 1700 Wade Hampton Blvd in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday, November 14. Doors open at 10:30 a.m., and the event will take place from noon to 2:00 p.m.

The general public can RSVP for the rally by clicking here.

*NOTE: Press planning on attending need to RSVP to [email protected] no later than 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 6. Please note names of who will be attending, if you need camera space on riser and if you are bringing a truck.

Ted Cruz, Cruz Campaign Press Release - Ted Cruz Announces Religious Liberty Heroes to be Featured at South Carolina Rally Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315109

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