Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Lifestyles
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Rubio talks abortion, gay marriage as he works to woo social conservatives

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives to speak at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Trying to win forgiveness for pushing a failed immigration overhaul, Rubio is rushing to woo social conservatives ahead of a potential 2016 White House run. While Rubio has consistently held conservative positions on abortion and gay marriage, his emphasis now is an effort to find support among social conservatives who have yet to settle on a favored candidate in the presidential campaign that is in its nascent stages. (AP Photo)

Enlarge Image

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives to speak at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Trying to win forgiveness for pushing a failed immigration overhaul, Rubio is rushing to woo social conservatives ahead of a potential 2016 White House run. While Rubio has consistently held conservative positions on abortion and gay marriage, his emphasis now is an effort to find support among social conservatives who have yet to settle on a favored candidate in the presidential campaign that is in its nascent stages. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON - Americans who oppose same-sex marriage often face "intolerance" from those who support it, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Wednesday in a speech about values that appeared aimed at wooing social conservatives.

In remarks he said were likely to get him criticized as a bigot, the Florida Republican told an audience at Catholic University that a strong America is impossible without Americans who hold strong values. Seeming to seek a debate over those values, he criticized liberals who defend abortion rights for women but not protections for "the unborn."

While Rubio has consistently held conservative positions on gay marriage and abortion, his current emphasis appears to be an appeal to social conservatives who have yet to settle on a favoured presidential candidate for 2016.

"Even before this speech is over, I will be attacked as someone who is a hater or a bigot or someone who is anti-gay," Rubio said.

Rubio's remarks on social issues come as he is trying to recover from his failed push for an immigration overhaul, now seen as a political misstep.

Rubio helped write the bipartisan immigration overhaul that passed the Senate but stalled in the House as some Republicans balked. Conservatives grew wary of the measure, and the Republican-led House signalled the comprehensive Senate plan would go nowhere.

Rubio did not include immigration in his speech, which focused on the merits of marriage, raising children in two-parent homes and educating them with values. But a member of the audience did ask Rubio about his immigration legislation's hopes in Congress.

"I just don't see how we ever get the support in Washington any time in the next decade" unless lawmakers are convinced the flow of immigrants coming to the United States across its southern border has stopped, Rubio said. The unfolding crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border gives him little hope, he said.

Rubio's priority seems to be winning back the support of the activists who have clout in picking the GOP presidential nominee. Social conservatives have unquestionable sway in the leadoff Iowa caucuses. Fiscal and libertarian-minded conservatives dominate New Hampshire's primary. In South Carolina, religious issues top voters' priorities.

Rubio has been working to make himself more acceptable to factions within the fractured GOP. His series of policy speeches so far have been as varied as high-tech investments, college affordability and a muscular foreign policy. He has quietly been courting leaders from all corners of the Republican coalition ahead of an expected presidential bid.

While his stance on social issues could be an advantage in early nominating, Rubio is also wrapping himself in rhetoric that could haunt him if he makes it to the general election in November 2016.

Perhaps seeking to blunt that criticism, Rubio acknowledged the United States has a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians. He added that his opponents pose what he called legitimate policy questions and urged a respectful discussion going forward: "Tolerance is also a two-way street."

But he said he could not support such marriages despite a quick-moving shift in public opinion on allowing same-sex couples to marry.

"There is a growing intolerance on this issue," Rubio said of those who back same-sex marriages. "This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy."

He also said communities should work to fight abortion and to promote children born to married couples. He said he understands single-parent households — including in his extended family — but said abortion is not the answer.

"There is undeniably another person involved in this as well: the unborn child," Rubio said. "An unborn child should be welcomed into life and protected in law."

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media