Rafael Cruz, father of Tea Party Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), took up a familiar conservative talking point in a misleading attack against San Antonio’s law barring discrimination against LGBT employees.
In audio posted by Right Wing Watch on Tuesday, the elder Cruz accused city leaders in San Antonio of encroaching against the religious community after expanding workplace protection laws last year to include gender identity and sexuality.
“All they have to do is be aware of what’s happening around us and to be aware,” Cruz said during a Tea Party United conference call last week. “For example, that in the city of San Antonio, if a pastor speaks on Romans 1, he could be even fined $500 a day until he retracts what he said.”
In reality, there is no known example of a city statute prohibiting that or any other Bible verse.
The expansion of the law has been consistently opposed by religious conservatives in the San Antonio area, with members of several African-American and Latino churches holding public protests and opponents of the move booing a disabled gay veteran for expressing support for the City Council’s actions.
Tea Party United founder Rick Scarborough then added that Houston Mayor Annise Parker had brought a similar measure before her city’s council.
“The lesbian mayor in Houston has taken [a] cue from her counterpart in San Antonio,” Scarborough said derisively. “And now the pastors in Houston are facing similar sanctions if they preach the Bible.”
Towleroad reported that in reality, Parker’s proposal would exempt religious institutions from the expanded city statute, on account of their First Amendment rights.
Last October, Scarborough proposed filing a “class action lawsuit” against “homosexuality.” Three years ago, he was also quoted as saying that AIDS was still a “homosexual disease” and “a judgment as a result of an immoral act.”
Listen to the remarks by Cruz and Scarborough, as posted on Tuesday by Right Wing Watch, below.