Marco Rubio is trying to recover from his performance during Saturday’s debate, in which he short-circuited when Chris Christie accused him of being a robotic talking points dispensary by reciting the same talking point four times.
He didn’t do himself any favors in Manchester, New Hampshire today when confronted by a gay voter, Timothy Kierstead, who asked Rubio why he wanted to “put me back in the closet?”
Rubio insisted that Mr. Kierstead could “live any way you want,” but repeatedly insisted that he believes marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples. From the New York Times:
During a brief conversation, Mr. Kierstead told Mr. Rubio that he was married but complained that the senator’s position amounted to him declaring that “we don’t matter.”
Mr. Rubio, who was standing with his youngest son, Dominick, 8, by his side, gently disagreed. “No, I just believe marriage is between one man and one woman.”
“Well,” replied Mr. Kierstead, “that’s your belief.”
Mr. Rubio continued: “I think that’s what the law should be. And if you don’t agree you should have the law changed by a legislature.”
Mr. Kierstead said the law had already been changed, referring either to a Supreme Court ruling that has legalized same-sex marriage across the country or to state legislation in New Hampshire that did the same.
Kierstead also pointed out that Rubio’s belief is a religious one, and that belief alone shouldn’t be the basis for public policy.
It’s also worth noting that Rubio doesn’t “just” believe that marriage should be reserved for straight couples. Rubio also believes LGBT Americans should head back to the closet in all aspects of their life — regardless as to their relationship status. Going beyond promising to appoint Supreme Court justices that would reverse Obergefell v Hodges, Rubio has promised to reverse President Obama’s non-discrimination protections for LGBT employees of federal contractors. This isn’t just a marriage issue for Rubio; he wants to change American culture such that we all feel compelled to “act like” the white people from the Andy Griffith Show.
In any case, it’s really something that Rubio stuck to his anti-gay script so strictly that he couldn’t even assimilate fact that marriage equality is the law of the land.