Republican presidential hopeful and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was once again preaching his antigay gospel on the campaign trail this week, pledging his allegiance to "religious liberty" while addressing a group of pastors at an event hosted by a certified antigay hate group.
Speaking at Thursday's Watchmen on the Wall event in Washington, D.C., Cruz promised to defend "religious liberty" from what he claims is the Democratic agenda of imposing "mandatory gay marriage" in all 50 states.
The event was hosted by the Family Research Council, certified as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because it consistently spreads harmful misinformation and dangerous stereotypes about LGBT people.
Right Wing Watch obtained video of Cruz's speech as well as that of several other prominent antigay activists who shared the stage with the presidential hopeful.
Lamenting "the battles that played out in Indiana and Arkansas" over so-called religious freedom bills, which opponents and business leaders said amounted to a license to discriminate against LGBT people, Cruz chided "some of the Republicans running in 2016" for not speaking up in defense of such efforts.
"I can tell you this: I will always, always, always stand up for religious liberty of every American," Cruz shouted, pounding his hand on the podium.
Just one week ago, Cruz claimed on a right-wing radio show that "mandatory" same-sex marriage constituted the "greatest threat we've ever seen." Five days later, he lambasted "media" on the left for being "obsessed with sex" after reporters pressed him on his antigay views. Liberal media should be more concerned with "the expansion of ISIS" instead, he said.
Cruz often expresses his opposition to marriage equality, and not just when reporters have asked him about it. In his first publicity stop after announcing his presidential candidacy, he gave a speech decrying "the radical gay marriage agenda" and the "partisan desire to mandate gay marriage everywhere in this country." He has frequently voiced support for amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. His antigay activism in 2014 made him The Advocate's choice for Phobie of the Year.
Earlier, Cruz made his opposition to LGBT rights a cornerstone of his campaign for the U.S. Senate, to which he was elected in 2012. Among other things, he criticized one of his rivals in the Republican primary, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, for marching in Pride parades. "When the mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride, that's a statement," Cruz said during the campaign. "It's not a statement I believe in."
Watch Cruz's latest comments below, via Right Wing Watch.