Now that Sen. Ted Cruz has made the big announcement that he plans to run in the Republican presidential primary, it’s time to start sizing him up as a candidate. While Cruz holds strong stances on many of the big issues, perhaps one of the most controversial is Cruz's stance on LGBT rights and same-sex marriage. As the rest of America finally moves toward embracing the LGBT community and rallies around the legalization of same-sex marriage, Cruz remains staunchly in opposition.
His opposition reaches far past ambivalence or an undecided stance on the issue, too. In 2014 when courts overturned same-sex marriage bans, Cruz decried the ruling calling the decision “judicial activism at its worst” and “tragic and indefensible,” ThinkProgress reports. Cruz released this statement in an October 2014 press release:
Traditional marriage is an institution whose integrity and vitality are critical to the health of any society. We should remain faithful to our moral heritage and never hesitate to defend it.
Moreover, Cruz has led legislation in both Texas and against the federal government to prevent the law from recognizing same-sex marriage. In February the Texas senator re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act, which would disallow the federal government for overriding state definitions of marriage. The Human Rights Campaign reports that Cruz has even gone so far as to claim he’ll introduce a constitutional amendment that would prevent nationwide marriage equality. Just three years ago, in 2012, Cruz made this comment about homosexuality:
I believe that engaging in homosexual conduct is a choice.
While Cruz’s sentiments may resonate with the Tea Party Republicans that have propelled him from an underdog to a presidential primary candidate in his short three years in the Senate, that stance will likely turn off a large portion of Americans. A recent poll by Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research revealed that 60 percent of likely voters in the presidential election support gay marriage. Only 37 percent are against same-sex marriage.
Although opponents of same-sex marriage like Cruz feel strongly about the issue, Politico reports that the three-fourths of opponents that feel strongly lags far behind the 43 percent that feel strongly about their support for marriage rights. So while Cruz may win strong niche support, his views — at least on this issue — will likely be too contentious for him to garner widespread support.
Sorry, Ted. Looks like progress might win this battle.
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