WATCH: Ted Cruz's Homophobic Dad is 'Man of Deep Integrity'

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com November 10 2013 6:40 AM ET

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a tea party-backed Republican who recently held a fake filibuster to shut down the government and stall the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, stopped by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Friday to talk politics.

In a frank and partisan conversation, Cruz claimed that he was actually opposed to the recent government shutdown, and called the Affordable Care Act "the biggest job-killer in this country."

But toward the end of his appearance, Leno challenged Cruz on his opposition to marriage equality and the recently discovered evidence of his father's rabid homophobia. 

"I support marriage between one man and one woman," Cruz told the Tonight Show host. "But I also think it's a question for the states. Some states have made decisions one way on gay marriage, some states have made decisions the other way, and that's the great thing about our Constitution, is different states can make decisions depending on the values of their citizens." 

Regarding his father Rafael Cruz, a right-wing pastor who's delivered sermons alleging that gay people are sexual predators and have "highjacked" the word "gay," the younger Cruz excused his father's antigay animus by citing his faith. 

"Look, my father is a pastor," Cruz told Leno. "He's a man of deep integrity. Some folks have decided to try to go after him because they want to take some shots at me."

Watch the gay-adjacent segment of the interview below, and see Cruz's entire appearance at The Tonight Show.