As the first GOP candidate to officially jump into the presidential ring, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has never been shy about his deeply conservative and religious views. Below are some of his most conservative comments on gay marriage.
1. When Ted Cruz announced his candidacy, he said one of his main priorities as President was to defend traditional marriage.
"Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life and to uphold the sacrament of marriage," he said.
2. He proudly supports Indiana Governor Mike Pence and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
"Today we are facing a concerted assault on the First Amendment, on the right of every American to seek out and worship God according to the dictates of his or her conscience," he said. "Governor Pence is holding the line to protect religious liberty in the Hoosier State. Indiana is giving voice to millions of courageous conservatives across this country who are deeply concerned about the ongoing attacks upon our personal liberties. I'm proud to stand with Mike, and I urge Americans to do the same."
3. He's accused LGBT people of waging "jihad" on Christians.
"We look at the jihad that is being waged right now, in Indiana, and in Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman," he said.
4. He thinks that same-sex marriage leads to hate speech.
“If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage, [hate speech is the] next step of where it gets enforced,” he said. “It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage and that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech — as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government.”
5. He introduced a bill that would only allow states to define marriage.
“I support traditional marriage. Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens,” Cruz said. “The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states. We should respect the states, and the definition of marriage should be left to democratically elected legislatures, not dictated from Washington. This bill will safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for its residents.
6. He's encouraged pastors to take part in civil disobedience against same-sex marriage.
"Well, listen, if government tries to silence pastors, if government tries to force believers to violate their faith, it is my hope that believers honor their faith and disregard unjust edicts from government,” Cruz said.
7. He defended Phil Robertson's appalling comments.
"The reason that so many Americans love Duck Dynasty is because it represents the America usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites: a family that loves and cares for each other, believes in God, and speaks openly about their faith,” he said. “If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job. In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him--but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree.”
8. He obviously didn’t support the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear cases against state same-sex marriage rulings.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to let rulings by lower court judges stand that redefine marriage is both tragic and indefensible,” Cruz said. “Marriage is a question for the States.
9. Or the Supreme Court's decisions on DOMA and Prop 8.
"Today's Supreme Court decisions on marriage are a regrettable overreach against the will of the people as expressed through large, bipartisan majorities in Congress and directly through referendum in California -- a markedly blue state," he said. "Nothing in the Constitution compelled this result, and once again, the Court has chosen to substitute its own views of public policy for the democratically expressed will of the voters."
10. And he doesn't think Congress should pass ENDA.
"The decision whether or not to make sexual orientation a protected legal class is a choice best left to the states, and elected legislatures in all 50 states have reached different conclusions on that question. A one-size-fits-all federal statutory right, which would invite abusive lawsuits and which contains insufficient protections for religious liberties, is the wrong approach,” he said.