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Sen. Ted Cruz has been openly opposed to same-sex marriage, but he didn’t blame gay people for mass shootings and public nudity during a 2014 speech.
A 2015 viral image that falsely quotes Cruz is gaining traction again on social media as incumbent Cruz looks to keep his seat in the 2018 Texas Senate race against Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The false image originates from the now defunct Facebook page "Stop the world: Teabaggers want to get off."
"When gays stayed hidden we had no mass shootings; we had no public nudity," the meme says Cruz said. "Society was polite. Now anything and everything goes and I blame them."
This claim is no different. The meme says Cruz made this statement during his speech at a 2014 Conservative Political Action Committee conference. We watched a video of the speech. He does not mention gay people, mass shootings or public nudity.
The original Facebook page had an About section that says the page "is for entertainment purposes" and is "primarily satire and parody with a mix of political memes and messages." However, the meme that’s reappeared on social media three years later does not have this disclaimer attached.
Cruz didn’t blame public nudity or mass shootings on gay people. We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
Meme, Ted Cruz, accessed Sept. 13, 2018
Video, American Conservative Union, "CPAC 2014 - U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)," March 6, 2014
PolitiFact, "'Teabagger' group distorts Ted Cruz and others with images and fake quotations," June 11, 2018
PolitiFact Texas, "Meme on Facebook says Ted Cruz declared 'no place' for gays, atheists in 'my America,'" April 8, 2015
PolitiFact Texas, "Made-up Ted Cruz quotation has Texan comparing child molesting and gay relations," May 28, 2015
Snopes, "Ted Cruz Blames Gay People for Mass Shootings?," Feb. 26, 2016
The Washington Post, "Cruz calls Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling 'fundamentally wrong,'" Feb. 6, 2018
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