Ted Cruz decried as “messed up” on Tuesday the decision to light the White House in rainbow colors on the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for same-sex marriage nationwide, according to a report in ThinkProgress.
The Republican presidential candidate made the remarks on the campaign trail in Iowa in response to a question from Keosauqua resident Randy DeLong, who said it was “a sad day when I saw the Capitol building all lit up in rainbow colors.”
“What we’re doing doesn’t make any sense,” Cruz responded. “What does it say that that day, they lit up the White House in rainbow colors, and yet it took nearly a week to recognize that our servicemen were murdered by jihadists in Chattanooga by lowering the flag at half staff? How messed up are those values?”
Cruz was referring to the five days it took the Obama administration to lower the White House flag at half-staff after the mass shooting perpetuated by a Muslim man at military installations in Chattanooga, Tenn. (According to Polifact, a president lowering the U.S. flag for fallen soldiers is atypical, otherwise it would always be at half staff.)
An opponent of same-sex marriage, Cruz has introduced in the U.S. Senate a constitutional amendment that would reverse the Supreme Court ruling of marriage equality throughout the country.
Maintaining the country is in “a time of crisis,” Cruz said his administration wouldn’t support the ruling, which he called “fundamentally illegitimate, lawless, and unconstitutional.” The U.S. senator from Texas denied the veracity of polls showing a majority of Americans back same-sex marriage and said the country is on his side.
“You can write a poll in a way that will get the results you want if they’re skewed,” Cruz said. “But when people of states have actually gone to the ballot box, they’ve voted to protect traditional marriage.”
According to ThinkProgress, Cruz also took the opportunity of the event to rail against the Department of Education for enforcing policies to allow transgender students to use facilities in schools consistent with gender identity.
On June 26, the day the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality, the White House was lit in rainbow colors that night. Same-sex couples and passersby were among the hundreds of individuals who gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue and in adjacent Lafayette Square Park to see the spectacle.
In July, President Obama lamented at the end of a joint news conference being unable to see the rainbow-lit White House in person, saying the Secret Service would have had to clear the crowd if he came out.
“To see people gathered in the evening outside on a beautiful summer night, and to feel whole and to feel accepted, and to feel that they had a right to love — that was pretty cool,” Obama said. “That was a good thing.”
In a December 2015 interview with People magazine, Obama identified the gathering outside of the White House that night as one of his favorite moments of last year.