Marco Rubio: The Gay Marriage Debate ‘is About What Society Should Tolerate’

Yesterday, after ABC News reported that Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was not being vetted as a potential pick for Romney's running mate, the Romney campaign made a rare disclosure that Rubio was, in fact, being vetted for the job.

RubioChristianity Today later in the day posted a long interview with Rubio about his faith and issues related to it. One of them was same-sex marriage:

The debate is about what society should tolerate, and what society should allow our laws to be. I believe marriage is a unique and specific institution that is the result of thousands of years of wisdom, which concluded that the ideal — not the only way but certainly the ideal — situation to raise children to become productive and healthy humans is in a home with a father and mother married to each other. Does that mean people who are not in that circumstance cannot be successful? Of course not.

It’s not a discriminatory thing. I’m not angry at anyone because of it, but I also have to be honest about what I believe marriage should be in our laws.

In May, Rubio reiterated that he opposes gay marriage for religious reasons, but that the decision should be left to the states. He also knocked Obama for using the issue as a political tool.


  1. Marc says

    So if he believes marriage should be left to the states then he should agree that DOMA is unconstitutional right?

  2. A sign of the times says

    Fence sitting is so uncomfortable! Which side will Rubio fall on?

    I suspect Rubio is trying to decide whether to load himself down with Romney’s baggage as a short cut to future political office or to avoid Romney and keep his own options open four years from now.

    It is hard to run on just having a pretty face without much experience but that works more often than not in politics. Just look at Scott Brown. Republican voters seem to like that, superficial appearances over substance.

  3. Eddie says

    What a lot of doublespeak. It’s not discrimination – I just want to enshrine it in law that my relationship is better than yours. That’s the definition of discrimination, idiot.

  4. Robert says

    I say we draw the line at the over-ambitious children of illegal immigrants. After all, if we’re going to make discrimination a ‘what society should tolerate’ issue, then we should not even consider illegals rights. After all, that is the law as well.

  5. niles says

    I really can’t believe that I thought him attractive at one point. Anyway, he is harking back to the Bush years with talk of the “ideal” marriage and the “ideal” situation to raise children. Bush was allowed to get away with this garbage, and here we go again. I suppose that there exists an “ideal” citizen also that should be protected with special rights.

  6. Gus says

    What do we expect from a guy who was Mormon for a few teen years and currently attends BOTH Roman Catholic Mass and a Baptist church. (I don’t know how you balance those different theologies in you head)

  7. Reggie777 says

    Rubio criticizes President Obama for “politicizing” the issue. And what is he, Rubio, doing by his speech? Ah… the mote in my brother’s eye, and the plank in mine.

  8. meijay says

    How dare Obama politicize the issue! That should be solely left to the Rove-inspired tactics of the GOP!

  9. Eddie says

    I suppose it’s also ideal that every child have a stay at home mom who cleans the house, cooks the meals and sews buttons on Wally & Beaver’s shirts. I guess society shouldn’t tolerate women who work outside her husbands house.

  10. gregory brown says

    I saw an MSN story yesterday about several possible VP choices. what struck me was how uniformly photogenic they are, conforming to a Romney Male template. Any of them would look good in a photo with Mittens. They also struck me as fitting the category that Arnold the Austrian described a few years ago as “girlymen”.

    Are the Republican spin doctors trying to set up a tem that would appeal to both white women and gay men with a suits fetish?

  11. 99% says

    Tell you what, if you don’t want gays to be married, then remove the word and definition from your states laws.

  12. George F says

    Rubio is such a shame for the latin community!
    …or at least the part of the Latin community I belong to…
    It is a pity he is the face of latinos for many in the US…

  13. Robert in SF says

    Every time I read or hear one of the opponents of marriage equality voice their supposed concern about marriage based on it being limited to straights because it’s the ideal for raising kids, I don’t know whether to rage against the discrimination and small mindedness, or be thankful for the opportunity to say:

    Then it’s a damned good thing we aren’t trying to restrict or any way affect their marriage rights and responsibilities with marriage equality, isn’t it!

    Because NO ONE wants to change how marriage works for them or make it unavailable somehow through allowing same gender couples to get married!

    I remember that the lady from Sex and The City, she played Miranda, said: allowing women to vote did NOT change the definition of “voting” (for men!). Allowing interracial marriage didn’t change the existing institution’s authority or effect under the law at all for other couples…not one bit.

    So, if those opponents keep harping on their main/only/focused reason for restricting marriage rights for gays and lesbians is this one reason, they don’t have a leg to stand on…not really. So good for us they still rely on it.

    It’s easy to counter in the dialogue, if we could just get our talking points down pat, and out in the public constantly, clearly, and concisely…

  14. says

    So his family comes to America to escape persecution and now he wants to persecute other people because of their religious beliefs. Nice.

  15. Jack M says

    He’s going to sit on the fence until someone decides he is worth paying attention to, then he’ll adopt that person’s viewpoints.

  16. Pete N SFO says

    Saying something is not discriminatory, does not make it so…

    No matter how many bobble-heads in the audience lack the ability to discern the difference.

    Soon your position will be eclipsed by even Cuba.

  17. say what says

    it doesn’t matter

    -he was mormon when young and repub base will never tolerate 2 affiliated with mormonism cult (in base’s eyes) on the ticket

    -he is too brown for the repub base

    – already has scandal of misused funds and had to pay a fine

    – lied about history

    rubio will never be romney vp and most likely will loose his re-election bid for senate so why even care what he says

  18. say what says



    Rubios family left cuba years before castro came to power

    that is part of his scandal. he lied about family history to get votes from fellow cuban americans

  19. Mike8787 says

    This is another example of the common failure of the right to pragmatic rather than “idealistic” in their legislation. Even if Rubio were correct, and mother/father homes are “ideal” compared to mother/mother and father/father homes, his argument hinges on the assumption that marriage recognition for same sex couples means less straights marrying. It does not. Instead, the same number of straight couples will marry, while children of same-sex couples will be harmed by the failure of the nation to legally recognize their parents’ marriage. The Right, wrapped up in its own “ideal” world, tries to pass laws to create effects that realistically will never be. Along the way, Americans are suffering.

    I say this is the common failure because it’s the same issue with abortion — the Right thinks that, by banning abortion, abortions won’t occur; in reality, many women will choose unsafe alternatives. The fact that the Republicans are supposed to be the party of small government only compounds the illogical nature of their stance on these issues.

  20. Rich F. says

    If anyone should know about “political tools,” it’s Marco Rubio. He’s a tool, all right.

  21. Michaelandfred says

    Don’t count on Rubio being VP pick. The last thing Romney wants is someone to over shadow him. ANY VP pick will be a middle of the road, “good,” quiet, white, middle aged but telegenic Republican man who’s policies parrot Romney while not making waves. He has enough of a likability factor without a VP who outshines him on many levels. Romney’s ego can’t take it and the media would eat it up.

    As for his religious opinions on marriage. What’s the line about opinions and assholes…..

  22. Fahd says

    All the bad things commentators have already said about him, plus he’s pretty short. He and Romney look ridiculous on TV standing next to each other.

  23. Tarc says

    No, it’s not Mark. It’s leveraging the flock and their hate agenda for your political gain. The actual issue if gay rights is Constitutionally enshrined. So-called Christians can ‘tolerate’ whatever they like (often with the usual extreme hypocrisy), but it has no real bearing on the coming legal establishment of gay equality.

  24. says

    “marriage is such a unique and specific institution”


    That must be why so few people in history EVER got married! Somebody should teach the moron right the meaning of “unique.”

  25. Kenneth says

    @ Say What, many Cubans came to this country before Fidel’s rise to power, because Batista was ruthless as well. For many years, there was a schism in the Cuban community between those who came here early on and those who came later via the Mariel boat lift which was allowed by Castro. Many, though certainly not all, of the “Marielitos” as they were called, were prisoners and mental patients, and were considered a liability to the growing strength of the CUban-American community. That his family immigrated pre-Castro does not mean they weren’t fleeing persecution, it just adds to the hypocrisy because his family would most likely have been just as discriminatory towards the Cubans who came after them.

  26. Houndentenor says

    But of course the current law IS discriminatory. Whether or not society “tolerates” (I hate that word, btw) gay marriage, many same sex couples share lives together in ways that are indistinguishable from marriage except in how the state and/or federal government regards their relationship.

    But then what do we expect from an anchor baby in the party that rails against anchor babies.

  27. Rick says

    “-he is too brown for the repub base”

    He is not brown, he is white, as are most of the Cubans who left when Castro came to power. They were the elite of Cuban society, affiliated with American money interests, and as is the case in most Latin American countries, that elite is “puro castellano”–purely of European descent.

    He is getting great political mileage out of claiming to be “Latino” because it makes guilt-ridden white people feel good to embrace a “non-white” in any position of significance, but, in reality, he is no less white than Mitt Romney…..and fit in perfectly with all the WASP frat boys he went to college with.

  28. says

    what an odd stance.

    isn’t it a better “ideal” for society that there isn’t such a gallingly-large gap between “rich” and “poor”?

    that’s a bigger moral issue. disparity of income and means to make ends meet.

  29. HB says

    So… how would he feel if society decided to “tolerate” discrimination against Hispanics?

  30. anon says

    I wondering if vetting a VP pick is sort of like extortion or blackmail. Do they use the information they get as leverage against the person to control them? I guess that didn’t work so well with Sarah Palin, but the vetting process there seemed pretty weak.

  31. vanndean says

    Perhaps someone should remind him that with his oath of office to become a United States he pledged to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Perhaps he needs to read it again and this time pay particular attention to that section which says: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. It is a shame that so many legislators believe in the first and second amendments but pay so little attention the principles of the 14th amendment to the Constitution of the United States which they pledged to preserve, protect, and defend.