During a campaign appearance in Beaumont, Texas, presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wondered why “the left” — including “the media” was so “obsessed” with sex when the terrorist group Islamic State, known as ISIS or ISIL, is executing gay people.
“Is there something about the left — and I am going to put the media in this category — that is obsessed with sex?” Cruz said after many questions about same-sex marriage and gay rights. “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.”
He also told reporters he “would suggest not drawing your questions from MSNBC.”
Cruz’s statement is an example of a larger cultural shift. Political strategists have raised questions about whether conservatives can adapt to a voter landscape in which same-sex marriage has become the majority opinion, even among young Republican voters. The Supreme Court is also expected to rule on the issue in the coming weeks.
But despite increasing public support, Cruz has 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.”