Republican U.S. senator from Florida and current presidential candidate Marco Rubio spoke to the Christian Broadcasting Network on May 26 and expressed his concern on the characterization that Christianity is now a form of “hate speech.”
“If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech. Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” Rubio said.
“After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger,” he continued.
It has always been clear where Rubio stands on the issue of same-sex marriage — he is personally opposed to it, but believes state legislatures and citizens should vote on the issue without interference from the federal government.
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These most recent comments seem more conservative than what Rubio has stated in the past.
On April 14, Rubio appeared on MSNBC for an interview and was asked his position on same-sex marriage.
“Ultimately the decision on how we define marriage has always belonged to the states. If in fact, as the polls indicate, a growing number of Americans believe that marriage between two individuals of the same sex should be legal, then they can petition their state legislatures and change their state laws. And in fact, I suspect you’ll see that happen. It’s already begun to happen,” Rubio said.
Rubio’s comments to the CBN could have been just to gear up the religious base of the Republican constituency. While evangelical conservatives make up nearly one-third of the Republican Party, top Republican officials warned of statements that may be perceived as anti-gay could affect the GOP’s chances of gaining new voters, particularly those under 30, in the future, Newsmax reported.
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In a poll released by Quinnipiac University on May 28, Rubio trailed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton by just four points 45 to 41 percent, showcasing that his statements may have no effect on his campaign.
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