Texas senator and president candidate Ted Cruz, served softball questions from anti-gay activists, smacked a home run with a diatribe against gay marriage and called it a “threat to our democracy.”
Cruz, who is second among Republican presidential candidates in most polls, appeared on a conference call last month for conservative activists organized by E.W. Jackson, the former GOP nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia who has called gay people “perverted” and “degenerate,” according to Right Wing Watch. Beyond condemning the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June to legalize gay marriage, Cruz also said he would check the power of the Supreme Court by making justices run for re-election and at another point saying he would stack the court with conservative nominees if he’s elected.
The first question to Cruz came from anti-gay advocate Peter LaBarbera, who leads Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. LaBarbera rattled off a list of his grievances against gays and asked Cruz what he intends to do to “neutralize the gay agenda.”
“We are seeing our constitutional rights under assault each and every day,” Cruz said. “The gay marriage decision is one of the greatest threats to our democracy we have seen in modern times. A handful of unelected judges arrogantly and lawlessly decreeing the authority to fundamentally change our country and tear down the foundations of our country.”
Cruz disparaged fellow Republicans who accept the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage as settled law, calling the opinion “lawless” and urging like-minded people to “fight to defend marriage on every front.”
“My response to this decision was that it was illegitimate, it was lawless, it was utterly contrary to the Constitution and that we should fight to defend marriage on every front,” Cruz added.
To that end, Cruz has introduced a constitutional amendment in the U.S. Senate that would allow state legislatures to enforce bans on same-sex marriage despite the Supreme Court’s ruling. He also supports legislation that would bar federal courts from considering cases involving marriage discrimination.
Cruz admitted, though, that he does not have the votes to pass those pieces of legislation. He also supports a change to force Supreme Court justices to run for reelection – making them accountable to “We the People,” Cruz said – but later stressed that the next president will be able to appoint several justices and should use that power to add conservatives to the bench.
He didn’t weigh in on all of the long list of complaints raised by LaBarbera and Jackson, namely that a handful of U.S. Embassies have flown the rainbow flag in support of gay rights on special days over the past several months and that the White House supports the Equality Act, which LaBarbera called the “Homosexual Superiority Act.”
He also lashed out at the U.S. military for considering whether to add transgender people to the 2011 rule that allows openly gay and lesbian soldiers to serve. President Obama is more focused on promoting gays in the military than in defeating the enemy, Cruz said.
Cruz appears on the STAND call around the 24:00 mark (listen below) and quickly mentions some people he claims are fighting for “religious liberty,” including former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired after he distributed his self-authored book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” to some employees; the book equates homosexuality with perversion on a level with pederasty and bestiality.
It's little wonder then that on Monday, Cruz picked up the endorsement of the National Organization for Marriage. The anti-gay group called Cruz “a proven champion for marriage and religious freedom.” And in Georgia, Cruz has surrounded himself with quite the merry band of bigots.