Entries from: Marco Rubio

Gay Florida Republican group backs Crist over Rubio

charlie-cristThe Sunshine Republicans, a South Florida group for gay Republicans, has announced its endorsement of independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist over likely GOP nominee Marco Rubio, a former Speaker of the Florida State House, in the race to represent the state in the U.S. Senate.

Crist, who has moderated some of his positions on LGBT issues since quitting the GOP, now leads the race, according to recent polls.

Rubio has been endorsed by the Family Research Council, a powerful, national anti-gay group.

Rubio to headline anti-gay group’s fundraiser

Marco Rubio_1Former Florida House Speaker and current U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio is set to headline a fundraising dinner next week for the Florida Family Policy Council, reports Waymon Hudson in The Huffington Post.  The Florida group is closely tied to the national anti-gay organization Focus on the Family.  (A collection of anti-gay policy positions and talking points is available on the group’s Web site.)  Writes Hudson:

The Florida Family Policy Council is also one of the main groups behind Florida’s anti-gay Amendment 2, the “Marriage Protection Amendment”, that passed in 2009 and enshrined discrimination into the Florida constitution by not only banning same-sex marriages, but also civil unions and any other relationship recognition for gay Floridians. The group has also constantly opposed efforts to repeal Florida’s ban on gay and lesbian people from adopting. Recently, the group succeeded in getting the Florida legislature to pass one of the most restrictive women’s choice policies in the nation, requiring that they view an ultrasound before getting an abortion.

This is who Rubio is choosing to speak to during his now three-way race for Senate with newly-minted “independent” Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

Also scheduled at the event is the presentation of a “Lifetime Achievement Award” to honor Don Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association, one of the most active and right-wing religious hate groups in the United States.

This is who Marco Rubio honors. These are the people he is “palling around with” as he seeks to move to a powerful Senate seat.

Rubio has always been an extremist. He led the fight for the regressive policies that have placed Florida so behind the times when he was speaker of the Florida House and obviously seeks to continue to court the far-right hate groups that seek to impose their personal biases on the rest of the nation as he seeks a Senate position.

Sharing the marquee with groups like the Florida Family Policy Council and American Family Association and honoring men like Don Wildmon shows just where Rubio’s views and “values” lie.

Rubio’s opponent, Gov. Charlie Crist, dropped out of the Republican primary to run as an independent for the Senate, and polls show Crist now leads Rubio and the presumed Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.  It’s not clear whether a run to the right is the smartest political strategy Rubio could employ given the shakeup in the race.

Is Marco Rubio anti-gay?

rubioCould Floridians find out too late that they voted for a staunchly anti-gay U.S. Senator?

Florida’s leading GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, doesn’t like to talk about social issues now that he’s the clear front runner for his party’s nomination.  In fact, his campaign Web site is silent on key issues important to the LGBT community–nothing on employment non-discrimination, adoption, partnership rights, etc.

But Rubio, a 39 year-old former State House Speaker, has rocketed past Gov. Charlie Crist in polls of likely Republican voters largely on a message of conservative purity.

Florida LGBT activists say Rubio opposes marriage equality and supports the military’s ban on openly gay troops.   In fact, his early endorsement by the rabidly anti-gay Family Research Council may indicate a more hard-core social agenda than he’d like like to acknowledge as he heads into a general election contest.  ”FRC Action PAC believes that Marco Rubio will be a true advocate for the issues that best uphold and strengthen families. We are proud to support his candidacy,” said FRC’s Tony Perkins, a nationally known anti-gay talking head.

One Florida LGBT activist, who asked not to be named because he works with Tallahassee Republicans, told GayPolitics he believes Rubio and his staff have made a concerted effort to stay silent on LGBT issues.  ”But the truth is Rubio’s horrible,” the source added.

Tony Plakas, an openly gay columnist for the Florida Sun-Sentinel, told GayPolitics Rubio may not be talking about LGBT issues because his GOP primary opponent, Crist, doesn’t dare raise the issues himself.  ”For Rubio, no position is the best position right now.  This is Charlie Crist’s fault,” Plakas said.  ”Apparently Charlie’s closet is big enough for Marco Rubio or any other primary challenger.”

Crist, whose sexual orientation has been the subject press speculation and at least one documentary feature film, has denied he is gay.

But Rubio may also know that going on the record now opposing the LGBT community’s top legislative priorities could alienate moderate voters in the fall, when he will likely face Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.  National GOP strategists are increasingly advising social conservatives to tone down their rhetoric on hot-button social issues in order to gain more support from independents, which now outnumber both registered Democrats and Republicans.

Rubio’s campaign did not respond to phone calls seeking comment on his positions on LGBT issues.

Florida’s GOP senate hopefuls support ban on gay troops

crist-rubioBoth Republican candidates vying for their party’s nomination to become the next U.S. Senator from Florida say they oppose efforts to repeal the ban on openly gay servicemembers, according to the St. Petersburg Times:

U.S. Senate rivals Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio both said today they oppose abolishing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy affecting gays and lesbians in the military.

The 1993 policy was intended to be a political compromise that let gay men and women serve so long as they stayed silent about their sexuality. But President Barack Obama and top military leaders say it is time to end the discrimination all together.

“We are a nation at war. The governor believes the current policy has worked, and there is no need to make changes,” Crist campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.

“Marco Rubio supports the current policy and doesn’t see any evidence it needs to be changed,” spokesman Alex Burgos said.

One of the two is likely to face U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) in the general election this November.

Via Towleroad.