Anti-gay Republican Ted Cruz pledges to ‘uphold the sacrament of marriage’ while launching Presidential bid

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Republican Ted Cruz has confirmed his plans to run for President in 2016.

The Tea Party politician, who is a Senator for Texas, is set to become the first serious candidate to confirm he intends to seek the Presidency in 2016.

The Senator, who has repeatedly affirmed his opposition to LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, made the announcement on Twitter, ahead of a planned speech at Liberty University in Virginia.

He said: “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!”

In his speech, the Senator said his Presidency would uphold the ‘sacrament of marriage’.

He said: “Instead of a federal government that wages an assault on our religious liberty, that goes after Hobby Lobby, that goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor, that goes after Liberty University, imagine a federal government that stands for the First Amendment rights of every American.

“Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life, and to uphold the sacrament of marriage.”

Earlier this month, Cruz tabled disapproval resolutions aiming to overturn anti-discrimination laws and strip protections from LGBT workers in Washington DC.

Last month he submitted the ‘State Marriage Defense Act‘ – an anti-gay bill that would ban the federal government from recognising same-sex marriage without ‘permission’ from state legislatures, even if bans have been declared unconstitutional.

He claimed at the time: “I support traditional marriage and we should reject attempts by the Obama Administration to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states.

“The State Marriage Defense Act helps safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for their citizens.”

Cruz previously said that Apple CEO Tim Cook had made a “personal decision” to be gay.

Mr Cruz was picked as top choice for President last year by attendees at the anti-gay Values Voter Summit – which is run by a group that regularly compares gay rights to the holocaust.

Other rumoured contenders for the Republican nomination include Dr Ben Carson – who damaged his chances by claiming prisons prove being gay is a choice – and Jeb Bush, who has recently hired an anti-gay activist to work on his campaign team.