In a field of largely anti-gay presidential hopefuls vying for the Republican party nomination in 2016, Ted Cruz may just be leading the pack.
According to Right Wing Watch, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) announced Wednesday they are endorsing Cruz for his bid for the White House. The surprisingly non-defunct group, that unsuccessfully fought marriage equality all the way to the steps of the United States Supreme Court this year, is asking their followers to pledge their support to the anti-gay Senator from Texas.
"Sen. Ted Cruz is a proven champion for marriage and religious freedom and someone we can absolutely count on to fight to restore marriage to our nation's laws and defend the religious liberty of the tens of millions of Americans who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "Sen. Cruz has not only signed NOM's presidential marriage pledge committing to take specific actions as president, but he has personally authored the pending federal marriage amendment to restore the right of states to define marriage as one man/one woman. Moreover, he has spoken out consistently and forcefully on the campaign trail as an advocate of true marriage. We are pleased to endorse him and will do everything in our power to support his election."
Given that all of the GOP presidential hopefuls have decried the recent Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v Hodges, the NOM endorsement does mean something for candidates looking to stir up their party's anti-LGBT base.
"The decision to endorse in the Republican primary race was a very difficult one," Brown said. "There are many tremendous candidates remaining who have made support for marriage a pillar of their careers in public service, including Sen. Rick Santorum, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio. We realize that our endorsement of Sen. Cruz will be very disappointing to them. Should any of these candidates emerge as the Republican nominee we would enthusiastically support them. However, there is a real danger that conservatives will split the vote allowing someone like Donald Trump to emerge from the crowded field, which would be disastrous. Sen. Cruz has run the best campaign thus far, racking up endorsements and financial resources and climbing in the polls. We believe he has the best chance of uniting conservatives and going on to win the nomination."
NOM, which has been in search of a re-brand since falling into irrelevance following the Obergefell ruling, is desperate to turn the clock back and see Cruz as the standard bearer who can do away with gay marriage.
"Beginning in Iowa, and going on from there, we will do everything in our power to support Sen. Cruz and urge all our supporters to coalesce around his candidacy," Brown said. "It is imperative that a proven marriage champion emerge from Iowa and go on to capture the Republican nomination. Too much is on the line for supporters of marriage to sit on the sidelines and take the risk that the Republican nominee is someone who will not fight to restore marriage to the law in our nation. We are at a historic moment, and we urge all conservatives to unite behind Sen. Ted Cruz, a man of principle we can all count on to give his all to the cause of marriage and religious freedom."