Now Reading
Ted Cruz tells married gay Republican he only needs religious freedom for protection

Ted Cruz tells married gay Republican he only needs religious freedom for protection

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz was confronted by an undecided gay Republican voter during a televised town hall meeting today about the so-called ‘religious freedom’ bills in some US states that would make discrimination against LGBTI people legal.

Todd Calogne, a small business owner who is leaning towards voting for Donald Trump, told Cruz on ABC’s Good Morning America that he is a lifelong Republican who has been married to his husband for two years.

‘I’ve noticed a lot of religious freedom laws and a lot of institutionalized discrimination laws, happening around the country,’ Cologne said to Cruz. ‘What would you as president do to protect me and my husband from institutionalized discrimination?’

Cruz, the US senator from Texas who is against same-sex marriage, told the man: ‘When it comes to religious liberty, religious liberty is something that protects all of us. It applies to Christians, it applies to Jews, it applies to Muslims, it applies to atheists.

‘And all of us, we want to live in a world where we don’t have the government dictating our beliefs, dictating how we live,’ he added.

‘We have a right to live according to our faith, according to our conscience. And that freedom ultimately protects each and every one of us. And we shouldn’t have the right to force others to knuckle under and give up their faith and give up their belief.’

GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos pointed out that Cruz had supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and wanted to know how the candidate’s stance would impact people like Cologne and his husband who are already married.

Cruz dodged the question by saying: ‘Listen, I am a constitutionalist. And under the Constitution, marriage has been a question for the states. That has been the case since the very beginning of this country, that it’s been up to the states. And so if someone wants to change the marriage laws I don’t think it should be five unelected lawyers down in Washington, dictating that.’