Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio was the headline speaker last night at a fundraising event for the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group that supports gay conversion therapy and pushed for the controversial religious freedom bill eventually vetoed by former Gov. Jan Brewer, Buzzfeed reported.
Media were not allowed inside the event, held at Arizona Christian University, but several in attendance provided Buzzfeed with quotes from the Sen. Rubio (FL)’s speech:
“Even as I’m speaking to you now, a human life is being terminated in America.”
“Without faith at the core of our society, you fall into an era of moral relativism.”
And one of Rubio’s staffers tweeted, “Dangerous era in America, says @marcorubio, where if you believe in the traditional definition of marriage, you’re a bigot.”
Dangerous era in America, says @marcorubio, where if you believe in the traditional definition of marriage, you’re a bigot.
— Daniel Stefanski (@DStefanski) May 7, 2015
“Rubio did not apparently reference or discuss the center’s stated support for conversion therapy — a practiced banned when used on minors in New Jersey, California, and DC — and his spokesperson did not respond to a question asking whether Rubio agrees with the group’s view that “homosexuals [can] modify their behavior and becoming heterosexual through Christian ministries and counseling.”
Just last month, Rubio expressed a different view, saying, ‘[T]he bottom line is, I believe that sexual preference is something people are born with.’”
Most Americans, including the majority of the Republican Party, support legalizing gay marriage. Republican presidential candidates are having to dance the fine line between appeasing the far right and not alienating the majority of the voting public. Rubio’s remarks — before, during, and after last night’s speech prove that he will say whatever he needs to say to pander to the crowd he’s in front of, even if it’s a crowd full of homophobic bigots.