Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ted Cruz's revealing non-answer

"What would you as President do to protect me and my husband from that institutionalized discrimination?" Todd Calogne, a New York Republican, asked Cruz during a town hall hosted by ABC's "Good Morning America."
A reasonable question to Ted Cruz, who, like every other Republican presidential candidate, has not been all that thrilled with same-sex marriage's legalization. By "that institutionalized discrimination", the questioner presumably was referring to recent "religious liberty" laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi, laws whose effects are tailored, curiously enough, to make certain Christian sects' views on same-sex relationships the official attitude of the state.

Cruz responded thusly:

"When it comes to religious liberty, religious liberty is something that protects everyone," he said. "It is our very first amendment, very first phrase that is protected in the Bill of Rights."

"It applies to Christians, it applies to Muslims, it applies to Jews, it applies to atheists," he added. "We want to be able to live in a world where we don't have the government dictating our beliefs and how we live. We have a right to live according to our faith and according to our conscience."

Huh. Funny thing, Senator, but Mr. Calogne asked you how you would protect people like him. We already know how the laws protect Christians and Muslims and Jews. (I disagree that those laws do anything to protect the rights of atheists: the promoters of those laws explicitly don't recognize that atheists have "religious" rights. But I digress.) So, do you want to answer the question this time?

Oh, that's right, you already did.

For the benefit of those who have trouble reading between the lines, let me tease out your real message, Senator:

Ted Cruz doesn't give a shit about same-sex marriage.
In the United States of Ted Cruz, your right to live your life free from government interference is sacred and inviolable — as long as you're Christian and heterosexual. Otherwise? Sorry!

But don't worry, Mr. Calogne, because like his ideological soulmate, the late Antonin Scalia, Cruz will leave you to the tender mercies of the majority. Leaving a minority group's civil rights up to the majority has always worked out, right? I mean, as long as you mean "worked out for the majority".

I'm not clear what gay Republicans see in a party whose frontrunners are Trump and Cruz (although I suppose Trump has yet to call gays rapists or to demand they be forbidden to immigrate to this country). However, if you are gay and Republican, and you were genuinely unsure where Ted Cruz stands on same-sex marriage, you have your answer.

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