Republican presidential hopeful and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is no stranger to making outlandish antigay and transphobic comments. But in a conference call with fellow right-wing pundits last month, Cruz launched what may be his most comprehensive anti-LGBT salvo yet.
The conference call was organized by evangelical preacher E.W. Jackson, the unsuccessful GOP nominee for Virginia lieutenant governor in 2013. During the hour-long call November 24, Cruz managed to blast the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, LGBT members of the military, and federal nondiscrimination protections — all in a single conversation.
Right Wing Watch obtained audio from the conference call, which included a question to Cruz as to how he would "reverse and neutralize" progress on the so-called gay agenda from certified antigay hate-group leader Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.
Cruz slammed the June Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which brought marriage equality to all 50 states, as "one of the greatest threats to our democracy we have seen in modern times." That hyperbolic analogy is a favorite of the Texas Tea Party darling, who last year earned the infamous honor of being named The Advocate's Phobie of the Year.
"It is the decision reminiscent of Roe v. Wade of a handful of unelected judges arrogantly and lawlessly decreeing the authority to fundamentally change our country and to tear down the foundations of the country," said Cruz.
"Democrats celebrated that lawless decision, but sadly, an awful lot of Republicans did as well," Cruz lamented. He went on to criticize Republicans who acknowledged the legal fact that post-Obergefell, marriage equality is the law of the land.
"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 said, before plugging legislation he introduced earlier this year that would expressly ban same-sex marriage by allowing state legislatures to override the Supreme Court's decision.
Cruz pledged that, as president, he would "defend religious liberty" and "not use the federal government to enforce this lawless decision that is a usurpation of the authority of we the people in this country."
That's when Jackson asked Cruz to reflect on the U.S. military's gradual march toward inclusion of all out LGBT Americans. Cruz has previously said he was open to reinstating the ban on openly gay and lesbian troops known as "don't ask, don't tell."
Here's what Cruz had to say about the military's embrace of LGBT Americans, per Right Wing Watch:
"You look at the military, and one of the things we’ve seen is morale in the military under the Obama administration has plummeted, and it has plummeted because you have a commander in chief that doesn’t support our soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines, you have a commander in chief that doesn’t stand up against our enemies, that won’t even acknowledge or say the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ and you have a commander in chief that treats the military as a cauldron for social experimentation. He’s more interested in promoting homosexuality in the military than he is in defeating our enemy.
"For example, the military is now focused on trying to promote transgendered [sic] soldiers. The role of the military is not to be some left-wing social experiment. The reason we have the brave men and women who sign up as service men and women to defend this nation is to stand for our values, to protect our safety and security, to protect innocent men and women, and to stand up and defeat our enemies, and I would stop the shameless politicizing of our military to push a left-wing agenda that is contrary to the values and contrary to who we are as an American people and a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values."
Listen to the whole segment below: