June July 2016
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The Advocate

Marriage Equality Supporters Fake Engagement at Ted Cruz Rally

Ted Cruz, Arden Jurskis, Kenzy Peach

A pair of college students tricked Ted Cruz (and the Internet) into thinking they were engaged.

Arden Jurskis and Kenzy Peach, sophomores at Emerson College, recently faked a marriage proposal in front of the Republican presidential candidate.

Calling it a “brief demonstration of values and activism” to The Boston Globe, Peach said the intent was to highlight Cruz’s "hypocritical stance on marriage."

“It’s way more ethical to have two people of the same gender get married than have two college sophomores tie the knot,” she added of the act between her and her male accomplice.

Cruz is against same-sex marriage and has courted antigay evangelical leaders in his quest for the Republican nomination. Recently, fellow GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump also called him a "hypocrite" for this stance, possibly referring to a dinner with gay donors last year.

Peach and Jurskis devised the plan during a school trip to the Iowa caucuses. While waiting in line to meet Cruz Sunday at a rally, inspiration struck Peach, who thought, I know what we have to do. She told Jurskis to propose when they reached Cruz.

Cruz even played a part in the proceedings. Feigning secrecy, Jurskis asked him for assistance in the proposal. When Jurskis got down on one knee, Cruz placed his hands on both of their shoulders, and then embraced them after Peach said yes.

“He gave us the biggest hug I think I have ever received in my entire life,” Jurskis said.

A photo of the moment, showing the college students embracing and Cruz cheering, went viral and was widely circulated in online media.

This is not the first satirical photo Jurskis has taken with a Republican presidential candidate. He has taken photos with several, posting them to Twitter with humorous captions. These include Marco Rubio ("I need to take a shower"), Jeb Bush ("BFFs"), and Carly Fiorina ("Look guys! I met Satan!").

“I’m OK with Cruz being the Republican guy, after meeting and seeing the rest of the candidates,” he said.

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