Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, said Friday that out actress Ellen Page attacked him with accusations of hating gays while grilling pork chops at the Iowa State Fair.

Page confronted Cruz about his opposition to LGBT rights.

Wearing a hat and sunglasses, Page asked Cruz: “People in the LGBT community are worried, just 'cause in the past, during segregation era or when women were trying to get the right to vote, religious liberty was often used to defend and justify that discrimination. … So, I was wondering if you could speak to that?”

Cruz denied the allegation, saying that it was “leaders in the church who played a critical role” in defeating Jim Crow laws. When pressed by Page – “Would you use that argument in segregation” – Cruz said that he was not interested in having a “back-and-forth debate.”

At the Presidential Family Forum in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday, Cruz said that Page had come after him with the “standard attack of the Left” of “why do Republicans hate gay people?”

“Scripture commands us to love everybody,” Cruz said. “But at the same time I'm proud to defend both the definition of marriage, the union of one man and one woman that was ordained by God, and the religious liberty of those who believe in a Biblical definition of marriage not being persecuted by their government.”

“When I asked Ms. Page, you want to talk about protecting discrimination, tell me why are you not distressed about the fact that Iran and ISIS are murdering homosexuals right now? Why are you not asking President Obama, why are you sending $100 billion to Ayatollah Khomeini, who murders homosexuals. You wanna talk about an assault on gay rights, how about not murdering the homosexuals,” Cruz added.

Cruz, however, has dodged questions about the controversy surrounding a “kill-the-gays” conference he attended earlier this month. The National Religious Liberties Conference was organized by pastor Kevin Swanson, a Colorado-based Christian conservative who has previously called for the death penalty for homosexuality. Swanson told attendees that he would protest a gay couple's wedding by smearing cow dung over his body and reiterated his call for the government to execute unrepentant gays in the future.

(Related: Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee dismiss controversy surrounding “kill the gays” conference.)

In comments to the Daily Beast, Page discussed confronting Cruz, saying that he and GOP rival Mike Huckabee seem “homophobic.”

“They don't answer the question. They say you're cutting them off when you try to ask the same question again because you're not answering it, because the reality is that they might be homophobic,” Page said.

(Related: Ellen Page on Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee: They seem homophobic.)

Other candidates who appeared at the forum included Florida Senator Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Doctor Ben Carson and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Rubio told those attending that marriage equality is not about discrimination.

(Related: Marco Rubio: Gay marriage is not about discrimination.)