Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is not happy that his home state of Florida is now a marriage equality state. “If they wanted to change that law,” he told Politico Wednesday, “they should have gone to the legislature or back to the Constitution and try to change it. I don’t agree we should be trying to make those changes through the courts.” In fact, he went as far as to say, “I don’t agree the courts have the power to do this.”
That’s because Rubio simply doesn’t agree with how courts have been ruling on the question of same-sex marriage. “I do not believe that there is a U.S. Constitutional right to same-sex marriage,” he explained to reporters. “I don’t believe it’s unconstitutional. I just don’t believe there’s a constitutional right to it.”
Rubio’s ideas about what the courts should and should not do seem to align perfectly with his own opinions about whether certain laws are constitutional or not. In his very public opposition to Obamacare, he has regularly called on the courts to strike down a law he and his fellow Republicans failed to repeal countless times in Congress. For example, when a federal court in Florida ruled against what Rubio called “ObamaCare’s unconstitutional federal health insurance mandate” back in 2011, he applauded the decision.
Last February, he joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and others in submitting an amicus brief urging a federal court to rule against Obamacare in a different case that had to do with whether the law can provide subsidies to people if they enroll in health insurance through a federal website. Rubio also signed onto an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to allow companies like Hobby Lobby to opt out of conctraceptive coverage if they have a religious objection. When the Court ruled as such last summer, he praised the decision as a “re-affirmation of America’s commitment to religious freedom.”
Rubio has used religion and “religious freedom” to defend his opposition to marriage equality, admitting that he believes homosexuality is a sin, rejecting the idea it should be illegal to fire someone for being LGBT, and defending opponents of marriage equality as the victims of intolerance. In his soon-to-be released book, Rubio explains that he believes marriage should be defined as one man and one woman for the sole reason that he believes “the ideal setting for children to grow up in is with a mother and a father committed to each other, living together and sharing responsibility of raising their children.”
When U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Hinkle ruled against Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage back in August, he made it clear that the states’ rights argument was “a nonstarter.” Noting that the founders’ goal in drafting the U.S. Constitution was “to secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity,” Hinkle dismissed the arguments against marriage equality as “an obvious pretext for discrimination.”