Republican Marco Rubio claims same-sex marriage is a ‘clear and present danger’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Republican Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has claimed that same-sex marriage presents a “clear and present danger” to free speech.

Rubio, a junior United States Senator from Florida who is opposed to LGBT rights, announced his bid for the Republican Presiential nomination last month.

However, Rubio – who is behind in an increasingly-crowded Republican field – seemed to claim that if states stop discriminating against gay people, Christianity will be classed as hate speech

He told the Christian Broadcasting Networ: “If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech.

“Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

“So what’s the next step after that?

“After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger.”

Despite an extremely poor record on gay rights, Mr Rubio has one up on most of the Republican presidential field – by saying he would attend the wedding of a hypothetical gay friend, even though he opposes their right to marry.

He claimed: “If there’s somebody that I love that’s in my life, I don’t necessarily have to agree with their decisions or the decisions they’ve made to continue to love them and participate in important events.

“Ultimately, if someone that you care for and is part of your family has decided to move in one direction or another or feels that way because of who they love, you respect that because you love them.”

Rubio previously appeared as a speaker at a “gay cure” event.

He also 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.”

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