Ted Cruz is apparently “proud” to be backed by Linda Harvey of Mission: America, who claims homosexuality is a result of child molestation and demonic possession.

The Republican politician is currently challenging Donald Trump for his party’s Presidential nomination, but has faced tough questions about his links to ‘kill the gays’ pastors and listed hate groups.

He did nothing to quell that this week – by “proudly” announcing the backing of Linda Harvey, the founder of listed anti-LGBT hate group Mission: America.

In a statement on the Cruz website, the candidate said he is “thrilled to announce such outstanding endorsements from Ohio leaders” including Harvey, praising “courageous conservatives from all across the Buckeye State”.

As part of her work, Harvey authored the book ‘Maybe He’s Not Gay’, which encourages parents to try and ‘cure’ homosexual children, a practice that is considered child abuse under most medical guidelines.

Her book is aimed at desperate parents whose children might be gay – and teaches potentially catastrophic strategies such as removing them from school, cutting them off from friends, and secluding them in a Christian camp.

One review of the book jokes: “This is a great book if you want to kill your gay or transgender child.”

Harvey claimed previously that people only become gay because of “child molestation” or due to “other traumatic childhood experiences in childhood to neglectful, disordered or abusive parents.”

On aother occasion, she theorised of LGBT people: “Demonic deception may be active in the lives of these people and their advocates. Prayers are needed instead of lies.”

In her long history of disturbing and often extremist far-right rhetoric, the host has repeatedly linked homosexuality with paedophilia, claimed equal marriage will cause the apocalypse, denied that homophobic violence exists, claimed homeless gay youths only have themselves to blame, and accused Katy Perry of flirting with Satanism.

So that’s the latest member of Team Cruz.

We don’t think she’ll have much in common with Duck Dynasty homophobe Phil Robertson, a regular speaker at Cruz rallies, but Harvey will have plenty of other ‘friends’.

We think she will likely get on like a house on fire with Kevin Swanson, the pastor who shouted that he was “not ashamed” to call for gays to be put to death at a rally minutes before introducing Cruz and warmly embracing him.

Cruz has previously bragged about his endorsements from leading anti-LGBT groups.

He told an evangelical radio host: “I believe that [Supreme Court equal marriage] decision was fundamentally illegitimate, it was lawless, it was unconstitutional and it will not stand.

He continued: “I would note, that is precisely why Dr James Dobson has endorsed me in this campaign, it is why Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has endorsed me in this campaign.

“It’s why the National Organization on Marriage [sic] has endorsed me on this campaign and said it cannot support Donald Trump or Marco Rubio.

The Family Research Council is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, while the head of NOM recently suggested gay sex should still be a crime. 

Among the candidate’s other supporters is pastor Mike Bickle – who claims God “raised up” Adolf Hitler to hunt non-believers, and who claims gays will cause the apocalypse.

To surround yourself with one homophobic extremist is carelessness, Senator Cruz. To find them so consistently and without regret borders on a hate crime.