Senator Ted Cruz, known for his controversial opinions, surprised many when he took to Twitter to call out Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, drawing attention from both liberals and conservatives.

The law, signed by President Yoweri Museveni, imposes severe penalties for LGBTQ individuals, including imprisonment for simply identifying as LGBTQ+ and even death for so-called aggravated homosexuality.

Cruz’s tweet, quoting a report from The New York Times, expressed his agreement with President Joe Biden’s condemnation of the law. This rare alignment with the Democratic president caused quite a stir among some supporters, including lawyer and conspiracy theorist Jenna Ellis, with Cruz responding to Ellis saying, “You or I may not agree with their choices, but consenting adults should not go to jail for what they do in their own bedrooms.”


While often not seen as a friend of the LGBTQ+ community, Cruz has been consistent in his stance against the criminalisation of homosexuality. In 2003, as Texas’ solicitor-general, he chose not to argue the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas before the Supreme Court, which ultimately struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law, setting the stage for subsequent pro-LGBTQ+ rulings, such as the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

Cruz’s stance on the issue of personal freedom also extends beyond the LGBTQ+ community. When Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the possibility of repealing Lawrence and other cases based on the right to privacy, Cruz instead advocated for the removal of the law overturned by Lawrence from the books, emphasising that “government has no business in their bedrooms.”

However, despite this recent support for LGBTQ+ rights, his track record is not as supportive, including voting against the Respect for Marriage Act in 2023, which aimed to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Cruz has also been known to capitalise on the moral panic surrounding transgender rights, making anti-trans remarks and seeking to restrict transgender access to bathrooms during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Critics argue that Cruz’s condemnation of Uganda’s law might be a calculated move as he prepares for re-election in 2024. While Republicans generally dominate in Texas, Cruz’s narrow victory over Beto O’Rourke in 2018 suggests that he needs to solidify his bipartisan image.