The Internet was abuzz last week with a rumor that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was a fierce opponent of masturbation.
The controversy stemmed from the fact that when Cruz was solicitor general of Texas in 2007, he defended a state law that criminalized the sale of sex toys. As part of the case, Cruz's office wrote in a brief that people don't have the legal right to masturbate, Mother Jones reported on Friday. (His office lost, by the way. Read more about the case here.)
“There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship,” the brief said.
However, as Snopes points out, it was Cruz’s job at the time to argue the state’s position on the matter, so the brief his office put out doesn't necessarily reflect his personal beliefs. And the statement about people having the right to masturbate was actually referencing a 1985 ruling in which the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals made a similar statement.
Even so, recent coverage of the 2007 case was starting to give Cruz a renewed rep for being down on self-love. Even his old roommate weighed in.
But he cleared up his position on pleasure devices on Friday, when he told WABC radio host Curtis Sliwa that he will not enact anti-sex toy legislation if he makes it to the White House.
“It’s a ridiculous question, and of course not,” Cruz told Sliwa. “What people do in their own private time with their selves is their own business, and it’s none of government’s business.”
Cruz makes a good point there, but it’s really too bad his live-and-let-live mindset doesn’t extend to LGBT and reproductive rights.