Ted Cruz, the first official contender for the Presidency in 2016, isn’t one to mince his words. The staunchly conservative Tea Party Senator for Texas has strong opinions on all aspect of social, fiscal and foreign policy.
Cruz is a viable contender for the Republican nomination. Ivy League educated, he advised President Bush (junior) on domestic policy and worked as Texas’ Solicitor General prior to launching his bid for the Senate. As a Tea Party candidate, running on a platform of religious conservatism, he seemed unlikely to win — but win he did, becoming one of the most polarizing figures in the Senate.
It should come as no surprise that Cruz is staunchly opposed to LGBT rights. He favors traditional marriage, rejects nondiscrimination policy, and believes homosexuality is a choice. Launching his bid for the Presidency, Cruz gave an indication of what his White House would resemble:
“Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to… uphold the sacrament of marriage”
With that in mind, here are nine of Senator Cruz’s most anti-LGBT statements from the past few years.
“I believe that engaging in homosexual conduct is a choice, and I do not believe that unelected judges should force States to adopt gay marriage.”
(March 2012) — Cruz made clear his views on homosexuality in an email to San Antonio Express-News columnist Peggy Firac. He also reaffirmed his stance on marriage, calling it a “fundamental building block of our society.”
“When the mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride, that’s a statement. It’s not a statement I believe in.”
(August 2012) — During the race for the GOP Senate nomination, Cruz blasted his opponent, former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, for supporting the city’s gay pride parades. Leppert opposed same-sex marriage, but his support for his city’s LGBT residents drew ire from Cruz.
“Faith and freedom are under assault right now. This president is the first president in modern history to put the stamp of the presidency behind gay marriage.”
(August 2012) — Speaking at a Christian conference in Florida, ahead of the Republican National Convention, Cruz took the opportunity to blast President Obama for announcing his support for same-sex marriage.
“If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage, that’s the next step of where [hate speech regulations] gets enforced.”
(July 2013) — Cruz believes that same-sex marriage will lead to free speech being curtailed for religious people who voice their oppositions, stating as much during an interview with Christian Broadcast Network’s David Brody.
“They just want to use brute power to force the states to take down marriage laws that have been in place for centuries…. [I]t’s not right and it’s heartbreaking.”
(February 2014) — Trying to gain support for his State Marriage Defense Act, which would prohibit federal agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages in states where they aren’t yet legal, Cruz criticized gay rights advocates for their efforts to achieve marriage equality.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to let rulings by lower court judges stand that redefine marriage is both tragic and indefensible.”
(October 2014) — Cruz left no uncertainty over his stance on same-sex marriage in a statement released following the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear same-sex marriage ban cases, which legalized marriage in multiple states.
“I support traditional marriage and we should reject attempts by the Obama Administration to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states.”
(February 2015) — Cruz doesn’t like the federal government recognizing same-sex marriages, and stated as much when reintroducing his State Marriage Defense Act, which would force federal agencies to adhere to a state’s law on same-sex marriage when dealing with couples in the state, regardless if they were legally married out of state.
“Marriage is a question for the states and it is wrong for the federal government or unelected judges to tear down the marriage laws of the states.”
(February 2015) — Yep, Cruz really doesn’t want the federal government having any say on marriage equality, as evidenced by this statement at CPAC 2015.
“No government entity should be able to coerce organizations — whether they be nonprofits or religious schools — into…promoting gender policy that is contrary to the organization’s fundamental mission.”
(March 2015) — He isn’t above meddling in D.C. politics either. Rather than represent his Texas constituents, Cruz instead decided to block a D.C. Council bill that would have removed an amendment to the District’s Human Rights Act, which lets religious education institutions discriminate against LGBT students.
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr