By D’Anne Witkowski
On Feb. 8, Marco Rubio was asked a very important question by New Hampshire resident Timothy Kierstead, a man who said he’d been married for a “long time.”
“Why do you want to put me back in the closet?” Kierstead asked, according to the Washington Post.
“I don’t. You can live any way you want,” Rubio responded. “I just believe marriage is between one man and one woman.”
Kierstead wasn’t placated by that answer and after some words about marriage equality, the Post reported that the tense exchange ended with Rubio disengaging and walking away.
Poor Rubio. He’s so misunderstood. People think he’s a moderate (a.k.a. “the least scary” among the GOP’s presidential contenders), but he’s really as far right as Ted Cruz. And yet Cruz seems to get all the credit — and the criticism — for this radical positions.
I think in part it’s because Rubio is a pretty handsome guy compared to smug-mug Cruz. So everything that comes out of Cruz’s mouth sounds insane, but when Rubio says it, people are all, “Oh my, are those dimples I see?”
Just like Cruz, Rubio is anti-abortion with no exceptions for rape. Just like Cruz, Rubio supports so-called “religious freedom” laws which are by and large aimed at protecting those who discriminate against LGBT people.
In fact, Eric Teetsel, Rubio campaign’s director of faith outreach, told the Christian Post that there “are few, if any, substantive policy differences” between Cruz and Rubio when it comes to what feeds to the right-wing base.
Teetsel continued, “The National Organization for Marriage calls Marco, ‘a champion of marriage’ and the Family Research Council’s political arm recently gave him a 100 percent score.”
Which leads, of course, to Kierstead’s question and Rubio’s bullshit answer, one that any LGBT person or ally would be wise to look at more closely.
When Rubio says, “You can live any way you want,” he’s being disingenuous at best. Because for many same-sex couples, the way they want to live is married, and they’ve fought for that right, and all the legal protections that come with it, for decades. Rubio would like to see all of that undone. And he’s not shy about it.
When speaking about marriage equality on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Dec. 13, 2015, Rubio said, “It is the current law. I don’t believe any case law is settled law. Any future Supreme Court can change it. And ultimately, I will appoint Supreme Court justices that will interpret the Constitution as originally constructed.”
In other words, if Rubio gets elected president, he will be sure to try to stack the Supreme Court with right-wing justices who would overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, not to mention Roe v Wade.
But make no mistake, Rubio says, “It’s not about discrimination. It is about the definition of a very specific, traditional and age-old institution.” I call bullshit on that, too. Because the only reason Rubio wants to lock down that narrow definition is so gays can’t get married. Hence, that’s discrimination.
He also argues that equality advocates who won the right to marry didn’t do it right. “If you want to change it, you have a right to petition your state Legislature and your elected representatives to do it,” he said. “What is wrong is that the Supreme Court has found this hidden constitutional right that 200 years of jurisprudence had not discovered…”
Earth to Rubio: America has changed a lot in the past 200 years. If you haven’t noticed that, then you would be a very dangerous man to lead this country.
To people who support equality: come November, you’d better show up.