Republican Senator Ted Cruz has thrown his support behind a GOP candidate who compared Christian ‘victims’ of equal marriage to Jewish people in the Holocaust.
Senator Cruz, one of the most hardline Republicans on LGBT rights, threw his support behind Senate candidate Roy Moore.
Moore has been picked as the Republican candidate ahead of a special election for the US Senate seat in Alabama vacated by Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions, despite a string of controversies surrounding his abhorrent views about LGBT rights.
The candidate has compared gay sex to bestiality, saying: “Just because it’s done behind closed doors, it can still be prohibited by state law Do you know that bestiality, the relationship between man and beast is prohibited in every state? It’s the same thing.”
Moore has also dodged questions about whether gay people should be put to death, and has appeared multiple times on a radio show hosted by pastor Kevin Swanson, who is known for preaching that gay people must be stoned to death.
Meanwhile, he has made shockingly offensive speeches comparing the ‘victims’ of equal marriage to gays in the Holocaust.
But apparently even that isn’t enough to dissuade Republicans from backing him.
Senator Ted Cruz, a failed Presidential candidate who ran on an anti-LGBT evangelical platform, threw his support behind Moore this week despite his string of shocking comments.
In a statement endorsing Moore, Cruz said: “Judge Moore has a lifelong passion for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and he has the courage of his convictions.
“In the Senate, we need reinforcements; we desperately need strong conservatives who will stand up to the Washington status quo.”
He refers to “Judge Moore” even though Moore was ejected from the Alabama Supreme Court for abusing his authority in a bid to block gay weddings.
Cruz’ timing is impeccable, coming just days after Jewish groups condemned Moore over a shocking slur.
In a speech to the anti-LGBT Eagle Forum, Moore paraphrased Martin Niemöller’s famous Holocaust poem to attack LGBT rights.
He said: “We’re going through something in our country that other countries went through. Germany went through it when the state took all power and moved into the church.
“Martin Niemöller was a German pastor who stood against the Nazis, and he said ‘First they came for the Socialists, and I weren’t a Socialist so it didn’t bother me. Then they came for the Labour Unionists, and I wasn’t in the Labour unionsts, so I didn’t pay any attention. Then they came for the Jews, and hey, I wasn’t a Jew! So I did not speak out… and then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak up’.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we could say the same thing today.
“They came for the bakers, but I didn’t bake cakes. They came for the florists, but I didn’t deal in flowers. They came for a little clerk down in Kentucky by the name Kim Davis, but hey, I’m not a clerk, I have nothing to do with issuing [marriage] licenses.
“Then they came for me, and nobody was left. This will touch every person in this room and every child in this room eventually.”
In a separate, equally-offensive analogy, He also compared the legal expectation to not discriminate against gay couples to soldiers who received orders to kill Jews.
He said: “Could I do this if I were in Nuremberg… say that I was following the orders of the highest authority to kill Jews?… Could I say I was ordered to do so?. Is there a difference?”
Donald Trump, who is supportive of Moore’s bid, has repeatedly ignored questions about his extreme homophobic record.
In a press conference last week, a journalist asked: “Roy Moore, down in Alabama, has said that he believes homosexuality should be illegal and that Muslims should be barred from serving in the U.S. Congress.
“What makes you comfortable with someone with those beliefs serving in the U.S. Senate?”
But President Trump brushed off the call to condemn the comments.
He said: “Well, I’m going to be meeting with Roy sometime next week, and we’re going to talk to him about a lot of different things.
“But I’ll be meeting with him. He ran a very strong race.
“The people of Alabama, who I like very much and they like me very much, but they like Roy.
“And we’ll be talking to him, and I can report to you then. Okay?”
In a press gaggle several weeks ago a reporter also tried to raise the issue, but Trump insisted: “I don’t see it.”
Trump’s press chief Sarah Huckabee Sanders also evaded questioning during the White House Press Briefing.
When Moore’s views on LGBT rights were raised, she said: “I’m not going to weigh in on a specific race ahead of time at this point.”
Asked if President Trump has any opinions about Moore’s incendiary comments, she said: “Not that I’m aware of.”
Trump has previously vowed to “fight like hell” for Moore.
In a 2015 interview Moore himself refused to say whether he supports gay people being put to death.
The candidate formerly served as Alabama’s Chief Justice, but was ejected from the role after abusing his authority in a bid to block gay weddings in the state.
The disgraced justice had issued a string of orders declaring the US Supreme Court ruling on equal marriage “doesn’t apply” in Alabama due to state anti-gay laws, and ordered probate judges to enforce a gay marriage ban.
Moore fumed: “This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda.”
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It was in fact because of his flagrantly illegal actions.
Moore said: “Because of YOU, tonight, the establishment has been defeated in Alabama!
“We still have a ways to go before December 12th’s general election, and the road certainly doesn’t get easier, but with YOU, the best grassroots army of supporters around, I know we can take on anything together!”
CNN’s K-File found that Moore’s political Facebook page had shared a 2015 article by anti-LGBT website Barbwire titled ‘Conservative Russians Give Moral Lesson to Facebook’s Homosexual Propaganda’.
The article addressed Russian efforts to ban a Facebook ‘Pride’ profile picture filter in the country under the gay ‘propaganda’ law.
It lavished praise on the country for its “strong stance in defense of traditional family values” by passing “what is commonly referred to as the law against gay propaganda” to jail “insolent demonstrators”.
Elsewhere on his Facebook page, Moore criticised local officials for permitting Pride parades to take place, and shared posts claiming that gay people have fabricated all instances of homophobic hate crimes.
The special election takes place on December 12.