Marco Rubio, a man who used to attend South Beach foam parties, is shifting toward full-out cultural conservative warrior mode as he prepares for his political future.
In a speech today before the Catholic University of America's Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, he stressed a need for "tolerance" of those who are intolerant of gay marriage.
Perhaps "please tolerate my intolerance" would make a good slogan for his 2016 campaign.
"Today there is a growing intolerance on this issue, intolerance for those who continue to support traditional marriage," Rubio said in a speech at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
The Florida Republican did acknowledge Americas "marred" history of discrimination against gays and lesbians, but added tolerance needs to be "a two-way street."
Of course, no one is seriously trying to "outlaw" traditional marriage. Weddings between a man and a woman aren't under attack. No one who supports allowing queer couples to marry is in any way trying to deny the rights of straight couples to do the same. Seems like a pretty even metaphorical two-way street, actually.
Missing from Rubio's speech? Any actual explanation of how same-sex marriage in any way actually harms "traditional marriage." Not one study cited. Not a single anecdote. No evidence offered from how traditional marriage has been harmed in the 19 states where gay marriage is allowed. Nothing.
How are people supposed to tolerate a stance that no one can actually rationally explain in any way beyond "two dudes kissing makes me kind of uncomfortable?"
Instead Rubio cited blowback against the CEO of Chick-Fil-A and the former CEO of Mozilla who resigned under pressure once he expressed anti-same-sex marriage sentiment. Of course, a free market fiend like Rubio should understand that people are allowed to chose not to do business lead by a CEO whose views they don't agree with. Private companies are allowed to accept the resignation letter of a CEO whose views may be bad for business.
Speaking of two-way streets, several prominent LGBT CEOs of major companies do remain and have remained publicly in the closet because they feel its better for business.
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"I promise that even before this speech is over, I will be attacked as a hater, a bigot or anti-gay," Rubio said before adding, "If support for traditional marriage is bigotry, then Barack Obama was a bigot until just before the 2012 election."
Rubio's views are obviously anti-gay, but just like Barack Obama, a more descriptive term than "bigot" for him would be "calculating politician."
Rubio has long been rumored to make a run at the presidency in 2016 and is trying to rebuild support among cultural conservatives after leading a since-abandoned effort for immigration reform that hurt him in Republican primary polls.