US: Florida senator set to feature as keynote speaker for ‘gay cure’ therapy fundraiser

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Republican senator Marco Rubio, a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at a fundraising dinner for an anti-gay council that promotes “conversion therapy,” attempting to turn gay people straight.

Mother Jones reports Mr Rubio will be honouring activist Matthew Staver at the The Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) dinner, who recently defended Malawi’s anti-gay laws banning homosexuality.

Mr Staver has also sued New Jersey GOP Governor Chris Christie for signing a law banning “gay cure” therapy, claiming “counsellors would only be able to affirm these unwanted feelings as good and normal.”

Gay conversion therapy has been widely debunked by medical bodies including the American Psychological Association as well as the World Health Organisation have both come to the view that trying to change a person’s sexual orientation is harmful.

The event is due to be held on November 16, according to the Right Wing Watch.

In the past, Senator Rubio spoke publicly about how he believes being gay is a sin, and called protections for LGBT workers in the light of ENDA “special protections based on orientation,” which he refuses to support.

Rubio, who has voiced his opposition to equal marriage, is also one of several Republican Senators who pledged to drop their support for a broad immigration reform bill currently in the US Senate, if it included an amendment to allow people to sponsor their same-sex foreign partners for a green card.

LGBT rights activists gathered outside Rubio’s Florida office to protest against the decision to originally withdraw an amendment to the immigration bill. Senator Leahy, who proposed the amendment is currently attempting to re-introduce it, after withdrawing it originally.