Ted Cruz picks up endorsement from anti-gay Family Research Council president
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

The leader of an influential Christian conservative lobbying group said on Tuesday he backs Senator Ted Cruz for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said on Fox News: "I believe the one who is best positioned, best prepared to lead this nation forward, pulling it out of the tailspin that this president has put us in, I believe is Ted Cruz."

Cruz and billionaire businessman Donald Trump are locked in a tight Republican race in Iowa, which holds the first-in-the-nation nominating contest on Monday. Both Trump and Cruz have worked hard to pick up support from Christian conservatives.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler)