Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and his father, Rafael Cruz. (David J. Phillip/AP)

The father of Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), a Republican presidential candidate, said Wednesday that LGBT activists will try to legalize pedophilia.

“I think that’s the next thing that they’re going to push, to try to legalize pedophiles,” Cruz told BuzzFeed News. “Pedophilia, you have all these laws to forget about — we have laws on the books about statutory rape. You have to basically throw away the statutory rape laws to legalize pedophilia.”

Rafael Cruz, a pastor, made the remarks at the World Congress of Families, an annual gathering of social conservatives held this year in Salt Lake City. He has been criss-crossing the country as a surrogate for his son, speaking to pastors, Republican activists and others.

Ted Cruz has been assiduously courting the vote of evangelical Christians, leading a fight against Planned Parenthood, assailing the Supreme Court for legalizing same-sex marriage and holding rallies promoting religious liberty. The next is scheduled for next month at Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian school in South Carolina that prohibits physical contact between unmarried men and women.

[Read: Cruz’s evangelical outreach shifts into high gear]

"If you don’t get involved in the political process, then your values are not represented," Rafael Cruz told Republican activists in the U.S. Virgin Islands last month.

[Read: Cruz once clerked for a chief justice, but he’s no longer a friend of the court]

In Salt Lake City on Wednesday, he made his remarks in response to a question about "the damage that is being done by the LGBT and what they have done to partner with the pedophilia," according to BuzzFeed.

Rafael Cruz warned of laws and ordinances that prohibit discrimination against gay men and lesbians, including one passed in Houston. He has said that it is "appalling" that Houston elected a lesbian mayor.

The ordinances are "very stealthily being promoted into a lot of communities," he said, and they are "are actually promoting this sexual orientation and gender identity to be part of the curriculum in public schools.”

[Read: Ted Cruz: There is a ‘war on faith’]

Rafael Cruz, who has appeared at gatherings of Christian home-schoolers, said Wednesday that public schools are "programming" children with "secular humanism."

“If you have children in public school, you either have to take the time to deprogram them from all the brainwashing that they’re getting in the public school, or you have to take them out of public school, home-school them, or put them in a Christian school," he said.