Marco Rubio Blasts Florida's Same-Sex Marriage Appeal While Insisting He's Not a Bigot

Marriage equality makes Rubio frown.
Marriage equality makes Rubio frown.
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

This week, Florida officially legalized same-sex marriage. And, in what is the least surprising news to come out of this historical moment, Sen. Marco Rubio has publicly decried it.

Rubio went the route of most politicians who are antigay but don't want to outright publicly oppose same-sex marriage and said that the courts should not have been the ones to decide whether gay Floridians could marry.

"If they wanted to change that law," Rubio told Politico the day after the same-sex marriage ban was lifted, "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."

See also: Marco Rubio Remains on the Wrong Side of Gay Equality

But Rubio also muddled his explanation, while still being against same-sex marriage, telling reporters, "I do not believe that there is a U.S. Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. I don't believe it's unconstitutional. I just don't believe there's a constitutional right to it."

He also said Pam Bondi should appeal.

Again, none of this is particularly surprising.

Rubio has a long history of being antigay.

In 2013, he banged the "states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way," drum while scoffing at the notion that he was a bigot.

Also in 2013, Rubio said that it should be legal for a business to fire someone simply on the grounds that he or she is gay.

In a speech to the Florida Family Policy Council -- a vehemently antigay organization -- Rubio spoke of how gay marriage is debatable but having God in government is not up for debate.

"We hear about keeping God out of our schools, keeping God out of our politics, keeping God out of other people's lives," Rubio said. "This is a ridiculous debate, because God is everywhere at every time."

In 2013, Rubio blocked the nomination of Judge William Thomas to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas would have been the first openly gay black judge.

In 2012, Rubio made robocalls for the antigay group National Organization for Marriage.

Then there's what he wrote in his new book, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone:

"Thousands of years have human history have taught us that 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. It is for this reason and this reason alone that I continue to believe marriage should be defined as one man and one woman. It is neither my place nor my intention to dictate to anyone who they are allowed to love or live with."

In the book, Rubio goes back to insisting he's not a bigot, even if he does constantly try to keep homosexuals from marrying and keeps saying that straight couples make better parents than gay couples because of his personal beliefs:

"The trend that I will not accept, however, is the growing attitude that belief in traditional marriage equates to bigotry and hatred. Just as California has a right to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, Florida has a right to define it as one man and one woman."

So, no, Rubio coming out against the lifting of the gay marriage ban in Florida is not surprising at all, nor is it major news.

But it's always worth exploring his history of bigotry anyway. Even if he keeps saying he's not.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

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