AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has urged a gathering of religious and social conservatives to become an army of supporters to help him and other Christian politicians oppose abortion, protect marriage and defend the Constitution.

The Austin American-Statesman ( ) reports that the republican Patrick gave a speech at the Texas Faith and Family Day Forum that called people to action against what other speakers had called liberal attacks on traditional values. He said that, together, they could be leaders in education and job creation, but they also must be leaders for Christ.

Patrick's speech was followed by the symbolic cutting of two wedding cakes to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of a Texas constitutional amendment that limited marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Texas is one of 13 states where same-sex couples are banned from marrying.