Cruz to host religious liberty rally Aug. 21

ReligionFrom Press Release


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will hold a Rally for Religious Liberty on August 21 in Des Moines, IA, calling attention to the religious persecution of Christian business owners and employees who have been sanctioned by their government because of their religious beliefs.

Sen. Cruz will bring together eight people who represent six disturbing cases from around the country of government-sponsored religious persecution of those who refused to violate their convictions of faith.

Hosting the Rally for Religious Liberty are Dick and Betty Odgaard from Grimes. The Odgaards declined to host same-sex wedding ceremonies in the historic chapel on their property because it violated their religious convictions. As a result, the couple spent thousands of dollars to settle a complaint and will ultimately close their doors rather than be forced to host same-sex ceremonies in violation of their faith.

Joining Sen. Cruz and the Odgaards to share their personal stories are:

  • Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, a 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran who was discharged for simply answering his commander’s questions about his beliefs regarding marriage
  • Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who was sued for declining to provide flowers for a same-sex ceremony
  • Kelvin Cochran, a former fire chief fired for writing a book about his Christian beliefs
  • Blaine Adamson, a printer who was sued for not printing tee shirts for a gay pride parade;
  • Melissa and Aaron Kline, Oregon bakers who lost their business because they would not provide a cake for a same-sex ceremony.

“These six cases are part of a disturbing trend where Christian business owners are forced to either provide services that violate their religious beliefs or give up their businesses entirely,” said Sen. Cruz. “That’s wrong.”

Cruz invited these individuals to come to Iowa to tell their stories and call attention to the systematic undermining of the First Amendment right to religious free expression.

The Rally for Religious Liberty will be held at the Iowa Events Center Grand Ballroom at 730 3rd Street in Des Moines, Iowa on August 21. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. This event is open to the press. To RSVP go to