Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) accused advocates of same-sex marriage of intolerance during a speech at Catholic University on Wednesday afternoon and reiterated his support for marriage between one man and one woman.
While recognizing that “our history is marred by discrimination against gays and lesbians,” Rubio argued that “traditional marriage has such an extraordinary record of success at raising children” and must be perpetuated to the exclusion of same-sex unions.
“[T]oday, there is a growing intolerance on this issue, intolerance towards those who continue to support traditional marriage,” Rubio observed, citing the firing of the CEO of Mozilla, following revelations that he supported California’s campaign to ban same-sex marriage, and other instances where opponents of marriage equality suffered economic consequences. “And I promise you that even before this speech is over, I will be attacked as a hater, a bigot or someone who is anti-gay,” he added. “This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy.”
Rubio then sought to shield himself from accusations of homophobia, by linking his position on the issue to President Obama’s.” “Supporting the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is not anti-gay, it is pro-traditional marriage,” the junior senator claimed. “And if support for traditional marriage is bigotry, then Barack Obama was a bigot until just before the 2012 election.”
Rubio — who has recorded robocalls for anti-gay groups and boasted of their endorsements — has came out against a Federal Marriage Amendment, claiming that the regulation of marriage should be left to the states. In 2013, he voted against legislation that would prohibit employers from firing employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identify.