WASHINGTON, D.C., July 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he believes the legalization of same-sex “marriage” may lead to those who express religious objections to homosexuality being prosecuted for hate speech.

“If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage, that’s the next step of where it gets enforced,” Cruz told CBN host David Brody. “It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage, that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech, as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government.”

In Canada, where gay ‘marriage’ was legalized in 2005, Christian pastors, public officials, educators and business owners have all faced heavy fines and lengthy court battles after speaking critically of the homosexual lifestyle. In one case a pastor was fined $7000 and ordered never again to speak publicly about the issue of homosexuality after he wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper criticizing the homosexual agenda in schools.

Both Sweden and the United Kingdom have also prosecuted people who expressed traditional views on homosexuality, including a Christian pastor in Sweden who was sentenced to a suspended jail term for “inciting hatred” for preaching against homosexual behavior. The UK has recently seen a rash of cases in which Christian street preachers were arrested simply for preaching that homosexual conduct is sinful.

The French government has criminalized speech against homosexuality, resulting in a member of parliament being hit with a $4,000 penalty and ordered to pay $2,000 in court fees after he said he thought homosexuality was “inferior” to heterosexuality and said the practice would be “dangerous for humanity if it was pushed to the limit.” 

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Senator Cruz told CBN he is concerned that the United States is on the verge of becoming equally hostile to those who criticize the homosexual lifestyle.

“I think there is no doubt that the advocates who are driving this effort in the United States want to see us end up in that same place,” said Cruz.  He told Brody that he feels the nation is “at the edge of a precipice.”

“If we keep going down this path, we’re risking losing our nation, we’re risking losing the incredible oasis of liberty,” said Cruz.

Already in the U.S. there have been several cases of Christian businesses owners facing lawsuits and fines for refusing to participating in gay "marriage" ceremonies.