Marco Rubio on Civil Rights


One-man-one-woman marriage existed before our laws

Several GOP candidates tried to outdo one another on who could speak out most strongly against a right to gay marriage. "Marriage as an institution existed before even government itself," declared Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, at the Faith & Freedom Summit, at which nine likely presidential candidates spoke. "The institution of marriage as between one man and one woman existed even before our laws existed."
Source: Politico.com on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit , Apr 26, 2015

I oppose gay marriage, but it's the law of the land

Rubio says the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage is the law of the land. Rubio disagreed with the decision legalizing same-sex unions in all fifty states but said that Americans must abide by the ruling. Personally, Rubio says he believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Holding a nuanced position on Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Rubio believes some kinds of businesses, like wedding photography, should be allowed to turn away gay customers, and others, like hotels, should not.
Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Apr 13, 2015

Opposes Paycheck Fairness: don't require equal pay for women

Marco Rubio voted Nay on S 2199 - Paycheck Fairness Act. Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed to debate on a bill that establishes additional penalties for violations of equal pay requirements in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Synopsis:
Source: VoteSmart 2014 voting record synopsis , Apr 9, 2014

Balance gay anti-discrimination with religious rights

Q: As gay rights advance, is religious freedom being trampled on?

RUBIO: On the one hand, I think Americans, myself included, are against discrimination. A notion that someone, because they are gay, would be denied service at a restaurant or so forth is something conservatives don't support. The other side of the equation is, imagine how if you are a Catholic or Evangelical photographer, who does not believe because of your faith in gay marriage, and because of that, you don't want to provide photo services for a gay marriage. Should you be sanctioned by the state for refusing to do so?

Q: So what about the recent Arizona case?

RUBIO: I don't believe that gay Americans should be denied services at a restaurant or a hotel or anything of that nature. I also don't believe however that a caterer or a photographer should be punished by the state for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding because of their religious-held beliefs. We've got to figure out a way to protect that as well.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 2, 2014

Defining marriage does not demean a class of people

I believe the Supreme Court made a serious mistake today when it overstepped its important, but limited role. I do not believe that Pres. Clinton and overwhelming bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress acted with malice or intent to 'demean' a class of people when they adopted a uniform definition of marriage for the purposes of federal law. The Court should not have second guessed the will of the American people acting through their elected representatives without firm constitutional justifications. The sweeping language of today's majority opinion is more troubling than the ruling itself as it points to further interference by the Court in the years to come.

I recognize that the definition of marriage and the legal status of same-sex relationships is a deeply personal and emotional issue for Americans of a variety of viewpoints. These types of disagreements should be settled through the democratic process, not through litigation and court pronouncements.

Source: Press release on U.S. Supreme Court rulings on DOMA , Jun 28, 2013

I believe in historical marriage, but ok if states redefine

I believe that marriage is a unique historical institution best defined as the union between one man and one woman. In the U.S., marriage has traditionally been defined by state law, and I believe each state, acting through their elected representatives or the ballot, should decide their own definition of marriage. For the purposes of federal law, however, Congress had every right to adopt a uniform definition and I regret that the Supreme Court would interfere with that determination.

I appreciate that many Americans' attitude towards same-sex marriage have changed in recent years. I respect the rights of states to allow same-sex marriages, even though I disagree with them. But I also expect that the decisions made by states like Florida to define marriage as between one man and one woman will also be respected.

I do not believe there exists a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Therefore, I am glad the Supreme Court did not create one in the Proposition 8 case.

Source: Press release on U.S. Supreme Court rulings on DOMA , Jun 28, 2013

Leave gay marriage to states, but keep DOMA

Rubio is further to the ideological left on gay marriage than his rhetoric would suggest. "Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot," he declared at this month's Conservative Political Action Conference. The "bigot" part is what got press--but more notable is that he said states should be able to ban gay marriage, meaning the issue should be left to the states.

In February, Rubio likewise said he was "uncomfortable with a federal constitutional amendment on anything, particularly on that, because it steps on the rights of states to define marriage." That was essentially Obama's position until last summer, and Hillary Clinton's position until last week.

But Rubio is conservative Catholic, and his personal views on gay marriage are unlikely to shift. As of 2011 he also supports the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages conducted in states where such unions are legal.

Source: Washington Post on Conservative Political Action 2013 Conf. , Mar 26, 2013

Voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

Congressional Summary:
    Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :
  1. "culturally specific services" to mean community-based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
  2. "personally identifying information" with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  3. "underserved populations" as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
  4. "youth" to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic): House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.

Reference: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act; Bill S. 47 ; vote number 13-SV019 on Feb 12, 2013

Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage.

Rubio supports the CC survey question on banning same-sex marriage

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q3 on Aug 11, 2010

Opposes Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Rubio opposes the F2A survey question on ENDA

Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The Faith2Action survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) '

Source: Faith2Action Survey 10-FF-q3 on Sep 19, 2010

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Page last updated: Aug 16, 2015