Marco Rubio announces presidential bid

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio has announced his intention to run for President of the United States.

Florida Senator Rubio – who previously appeared as a speaker at a “gay cure” event – is the son of Cuban immigrants, and hopes to attract Latino voters to his cause.

LGBT voters may find it difficult to back him, after he was a key architect in the removal of protections for same-sex couples in an immigration bill in 2013.

In the same year he said that businesses should be allowed to fire people for being gay. He said: “By and large I think all Americans should be protected but I’m not for any special protections based on orientation.”

When asked if he believed in protections based on race or gender, he said: “Well that’s established law.”

He also blocked the nomination of a gay black judge to the US federal bench.

More recently, he has spoken out about the whether businesses should be legally compelled to provide services to same-sex weddings.

He told NPR: “I don’t believe it’s right for a florist to say, I’m not going to provide you flowers because you’re gay.

“I think there’s a difference between not providing services to a person because of their identity, who they are or who they love, and saying, I’m not going to participate in an event, a same-sex wedding, because that violates my religious beliefs.

“There’s a distinction between those two things.I think that’s the distinction point that people have been pointing to, and, because mainstream Christianity teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman. People feel very strongly about that.

“And to ask someone to individually provide services to something of that nature, I think violates their religious liberty.”

In the same interview, he spoke about growing support for same-sex marriage across the US: “If the majority of Americans support gay marriage, then you’ll see it reflected in changes in state law, which has always regulated marriage.

“And so at the end of the day, if a majority of people in any given state in this country petition their legislature to change the definition of marriage to include the marriage of two people of the same sex, that’ll be the law of the land. And that is what it is.”