Republican presidential aspirant Ted Cruz claims those who question his stance on marriage equality are "obsessed with sex," but perhaps he should take a look in the mirror.
Speaking to reporters in Beaumont, Texas, Tuesday, Cruz got a bit testy about queries regarding his opposition to marriage equality. "Is there something about the left -- and I am going to put the media in this category -- that is obsessed with sex?" he said, according to The Texas Tribune. "ISIS is executing homosexuals -- you want to talk about gay rights? This week was a very bad week for gay rights because the expansion of ISIS, the expansion of radical, theocratic, Islamic zealots that crucify Christians, that behead children and that murder homosexuals -- that ought to be concerning you far more than asking six questions all on the same topic."
Yet Cruz has, as ThinkProgress puts it, "made appealing to evangelical voters, who still widely think same-sex marriage should be illegal, a central component of his campaign. In fact, during his announcement speech, Cruz made sure to mention the sacrament of marriage (as well as throwing some red meat to anti-abortion activists who have been busy passing laws to restrict it in the states), yet only made a vague reference to fighting 'Islamic terrorism.'"
The Human Rights Campaign also noted that Cruz is the one who has an obsession. "Ted Cruz can pretend otherwise now, but he's been obsessed with denying basic rights to LGBT people for his entire public life," said JoDee Winterhof, HRC vice president of policy and political affairs, in a press release. "If Ted Cruz doesn't like answering questions about his record opposing marriage equality, that's a pretty good sign even Ted Cruz knows he's on the wrong side of history."
Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, has often expressed 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 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."