Anti-LGBT+ preacher Robert Jeffress says fewer straight people are getting married because gays have ‘cheapened the real thing’

Anti-LGBT+ preacher and Trump ally Robert Jeffress has insisted it’s gay people’s fault that straight people are getting married less.

Last week, a report from the US National Center for Health Statistics found that marriage rates have dropped to their lowest level on record, with 6.5 new marriages per 1,000 people in 2018.

Jeffress, an ally of Donald Trump who sits on the leader’s evangelical advisory board, knows exactly who is to blame for the fall in weddings – gay people.

Although the report indicated that marriage rates have been in steady decline since 1972, Jeffress specifically linked the drop in weddings to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that extended same-sex weddings to all 50 states.

Gay people have lowered marriage rates with ‘counterfeit’ weddings, Robert Jeffress claims.

Speaking to anti-LGBT+ evangelical outlet OneNewsNow, he claimed: “Whenever you counterfeit something, you cheapen the value of the real thing.

“And if you expand marriage to, basically, any definition you want – two men, two women, three men and a woman – I mean, if marriage is what you want it to be, why bother to get married at all?”

US president Donald Trump is greeting by pastor Robert Jeffress

US president Donald Trump is greeting by pastor Robert Jeffress during the Celebrate Freedom Rally at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Olivier Douliery-Pool via Getty Images)

Jeffress added that he doesn’t think that it will be possible to re-ban same-sex marriage, but that churches should promote the idea of straight weddings.

He said: “It will never change is my prediction, but that doesn’t mean the Church of Jesus Christ cannot continue to teach what the Bible says about marriage.”

Extremist pastor has close ties to Trump administration.

Jeffress, who runs First Baptist Church in Texas, has maintained strong links with the Trump administration despite his lengthy anti-LGBT+ record.

The preacher has previously compared homosexuals to people who rape animals, claiming: “God’s plan for sexuality is one man with one woman in a lifetime commitment called marriage. Any deviation from that is sin.

“Of course, I’m always, the retort to that is, ‘Oh! Are you pulling a Rick Santorum and saying that homosexuality is like bestiality, uh, incest, or pedophilia?’ And I say ‘Yes.’ It is just as immoral as those practices.”

On another occasion on his radio show, he claimed that homosexuality is “the most detestable” act in the world.

The pastor claimed: “Why is there such a high incidence of disease among homosexuals? They are engaged in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine.

“Because what they are doing is unnatural, it goes against nature, because of that filthy practice; there is a natural result to it. There is natural, physical consequences to homosexual behaviour.

“That’s why God says don’t engage in it, you are going to harm your bodies in doing so.”