During an appearance on NBC's The Tonight Show, Texas Senator Ted Cruz defended his father, Rafael Cruz, a minister and vocal social conservative.

The senior Cruz, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, has been in the news lately for suggesting that President Barack Obama should “go back to Kenya” and saying that socialism is behind the drive to legalize gay marriage.

“Communism or socialism, whatever you want to call it, what is happening in this country is not different than what happened in Cuba. … When you hear all these things about homosexual marriage, this has nothing to do with homosexual rights. Did you know that? The whole objective is the destruction of the traditional family. It has nothing to do with homosexuals. They could care less about homosexuals, they want to destroy the family,” he said in a videotaped speech in June which recently surfaced.

Cruz also suggested in his speech that allowing openly gay youth in the Boy Scouts would lead to “increased risk that our children would be exposed to sexual predators.”

The Tonight Show host Jay Leno asked the Ted Cruz about social issues.

“I support marriage between one man and one woman,” Cruz answered when asked whether he supports allowing gay couples to marry. “But I also think it's a question for the states. Some states have made decisions one way on gay marriage; some states have made decisions the other way. And that's the great thing about our constitution, is different states can make decisions depending on the values of their citizens.”

“Now your dad's been in the news lately, he was talking against gays. Is that fair game?” Leno asked.

“My father is a pastor. He's a man of deep integrity. And, you know, some folks have decided to try to go after him because they wanna take some shots at me. But I think the critics are better off attacking me,” Cruz answered. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)