Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday cited the Bible and quoted verses from the book in defense of the LGBTQ community, a stark departure from his decidedly conservative position on gay rights.
A Florida pastor, Tom Ascol, tweeted a Bible verse which suggested that every gay man should be put to death, to which Cruz responded: “Your biblical analysis is in error.”
The Texas senator then invoked another Bible verse to support his argument that gay people should not be persecuted.
“Jesus told us to ‘render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. We are talking the laws of man, not the Old Testament laws of God,’” Cruz tweeted.
He then added: “Do you really believe that the US govt should execute every person who is gay??”
—Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 5, 2023
Ascol later told Newsweek that the point of his question was not to suggest that gay people should be executed, but to “determine if the senator believes that when God criminalized homosexual conduct in the Old Testament that our Maker was guilty of prescribing a law horrific and grotesque law.”
He told Newsweek that he was “grateful” for the discourse with Cruz, and welcomes “further conversation with him about these important matters.”
Cruz’s religion-driven pro-LGBT tweets come just days after he unexpectedly called Uganda’s new anti-gay legislation — which allows for gay people in Uganda to be sentenced to death for their sexuality — “horrific” and “wrong.“
Cruz speaking out so strongly in favor of the LGBT community is a far cry from his earlier position on the matter, such as when he said that the US Supreme Court was “clearly wrong” about its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized same-sex marriages.
“Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states,” he said in a podcast in July.
And in November last year, he voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, a move to provide federal protection for same-sex and interracial marriages. He said that it would be an “attack on religious liberties,” The Texas Tribune reported.
Representatives of Cruz did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.