Rafael Cruz, Senator Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) father, has criticized laws prohibiting “ex-gay” therapy to minors, arguing that “sexual orientation is a choice.”

California was the first state to make it illegal to attempt to alter the sexual orientation of a minor from gay to straight. New Jersey has since followed and several additional states are now considering similar legislation.

“Sexual orientation is a choice, it's not a civil right,” the elder Cruz told a National Religious Broadcasters audience. “The Left is trying to redefine the issue as a civil right, not as a personal choice. They have gone to the extent to even try to make it illegal for counselors to administer to these people that have certain sexual tendencies to try to work with them from the Christian, biblical standpoint.”

Cruz, an evangelical pastor who emigrated to the United States from Cuba, has previously argued that gay rights are part of a Communist plot.

(Related: In Iowa, Ted Cruz reiterates opposition to gay marriage.)