Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who is looking at running for president in 2016, gave a major speech on Wednesday outlining why he still holds fast to his socially conservative stance on same-sex marriage. In the speech, Rubio also attacked his political foes as hypocrites on the issue.
Rubio predicted his remarks, which he made at the Catholic University of America, would go over poorly in some quarters. He cited the controversy surrounding Mozilla’s CEO, who stepped down after it was revealed he once donated to a campaign to prohibit same-sex marriage in California.
“I promise you that even before this speech is over, I will be attacked as a hater, or a bigot, or someone who is anti-gay. This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy,” said Rubio. “Supporting the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is not anti-gay, it is pro-traditional marriage. And if support for traditional marriage is bigotry, then Barack Obama was a bigot until just before the 2012 election.”
The speech comes at a time that several of Rubio’s colleagues — including Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — have announced they now supprt same-sex marriage. Rubio said he had “respect” for their position, but simply disagrees.
“I respect their arguments. And I would concede that they pose a legitimate question for lawmakers and for society. But there is another side of this debate. You see, thousands of years of human history have shown that the ideal setting for children to grow up is with a mother and a father committed to one another, living together, and sharing the responsibility of raising their children,” he said.
View the full speech below, which addressed other social issues like abortion as well.
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