DALLAS — A GOP candidate running for the U.S. Senate from Texas, told his opponents and the audience during a Republican debate in Dallas Wednesday night that he feels that believes being gay is a choice and gays will have to answer to God.
Former pro football player Craig James, who is seeking the seat currently held by Kay Bailey Hutchison, said “our moral fiber is sliding down a slope” and that he would never participate in a gay pride parade, referring to contender Tom Leppert.
Leppert, a former Dallas mayor, marched in Dallas’ gay pride parade in 2007 and 2009, had employed an openly gay chief of staff — Chris Heinbaugh — and repeatedly expressed support for the LGBT community.
James: I think right now in this country, our moral fiber is sliding down a slope that is going to be hard to stop if we don’t stand up with leaders who don’t go ride in gay parades. I can assure you I will never ride in a gay parade. And I hear what you’re saying, Tom, but leaders – our kids out there people need to see examples.
Moderator: Do you think people choose to be gay?
James: I think it’s a choice, I do.
Moderator: It’s not in the genes?
James: I think that you have to make that choice. But in that case right there, they are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions. We should not give benefits to those civil unions.
LGBTQ rights has become an important test in this primary contest as hardcore Texas Republicans demand candidates take more socially conservative stands.
James, a former professional football player for the New England Patriots, is also a sports commentator for games on the ABC and ESPN television networks.