Marco Rubio confronted by gay voter in New Hampshire, sticks to anti-gay script

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:

Marco Rubio, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Marco Rubio, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Moderator3

    One of our writers is bisexual. The term LGBT is used by many of our commenters.

  • ScrollsyScrolls

    Just a question to the people who run this, but why do you NEVER say anything about Bisexuals? I mean, seriously. Why are bisexuals seen as bad people? Or traitors? Gays and lesbians recieve lots of support, but bisexuals are barely even mentioned.

  • dcinsider

    I could fume about this idiot all day, but he is self-destructing.

    Never interrupt your enemy when he is in the process of [self-destructing].

  • So of course it happened again:
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/02/08/marco-rubio-speech-new-hampshire-christie/80036582/

    “We are taking our message to families that are struggling to raise their children in the 21st century because, as you saw, Jeanette and I are raising our four children in the 21st century, and we know how hard it’s become to instill our values in our kids instead of the values they try to ram down our throats. In the 21st century, it’s becoming harder than ever to instill in your children the values they teach in our homes and in our church instead of the values that they try to ram down our throats in the movies, in music, in popular culture.”

    Yes, he said exactly those words.

    According to some who know him, Rubio apparently routinely panics when under pressure and stress. And he wants to be America’s president because everybody knows that isn’t a stressful job at all.

  • hood0shnik

    “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”

    Thats because he spends all his time studying scripts instead of listening to the people.

  • Ol’ Hippy

    I have seen some reports that Washington is full of self loathing gays at the highest levels. They, sometimes, are the ones most opposed to LBGTQ rights. I don’t care but they should just let people live their lives and leave their bullshit out of policy.

  • Ol’ Hippy

    What I keep seeing from the ignorant bigots are a view of religious privilege that they want to put into public policy. They want to deny rights because they can’t accept humans have more than one way to express and live their lives. They are so blind to real people because they were indoctrinated into beliefs so early in life that it becomes their world view. They can’t or won’t look at the bigger picture, so they expect everyone to believe as they do. It doesn’t work that way! A marriage is a binding legal contract that gives a couple certain rights and these idiots want to deny these right for over 5% of the population, (I guessing at the number.) Now they want to take away the rights based on someones interpretation of 2,000 year old stories. And to think they can run this country. VOTE everybody!! It’s the only way to keep the rights we have fought so hard to get.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Republican Rubio, like Democrat Bill Clinton, is an anti-gay bigot. The parties are essentially the same.

  • The_Fixer

    I link to an article in the Wayne Madsen Report in my comment above. More evidence, but I am not sure about the veracity of it.

  • The_Fixer

    Marco Rubio, in addition to being pretty stupid, is anti-gay, or course, Perhaps a little suspiciously so.

    According to this article in the Wayne Madsen Report, Marco may not be as heterosexual as he presents himself to be.

    Back in the day, he was photographed at foam parties and other gay gatherings. His wife, back then, was what the kids today are calling a “Fruit Fly” (a “fag hag”, a term I don’t like).

    I have no idea of the truth of this report, but it would explain a lot (the opposition to gay rights that is characteristic of a self-loather, and of course, …those boots!). As stupid as Marco has proven himself to be, it would not surprise me that he never thought that this kind of thing would come to light.

    Especially considering that they have pictures of one who appears to be a younger Marco, or at least his twin, at this foam party. These things don’t go away once they’re out there.

    Again, I don’t know if any of this is true, but at some point this may very well get some publicity. It will certainly be a shit-hit-fan moment if it does.

  • FLL

    From the same NYT article that Jon links to in his post is the following exchange:

    Sexuality, it seems, was a recurring theme during Mr. Rubio’s visit to the diner. A different patron in the same restaurant, a 92-year-old woman, asked Mr. Rubio about the personal life of Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

    “He’s a bachelor, right?” the woman asked.

    “He is,” Mr. Rubio said.

    Then she asked, “Is he gay?”

    Mr. Rubio chuckled. “No,” he replied.

    Why is Rubio so adamant about claiming that the supposedly closeted Senator Graham is straight when Graham’s sexuality is an open secret everywhere, including South Carolina? A more reasonable response from Rubio would be “I’m not going to comment on the personal lives of public figures” or something like that. Rubio seems a little too personally invested in propping up the alibis of closeted politicians. Meanwhile, as I’m sure you’re all aware, Teabagistan is going nuts about the list of inconclusive, circumstantial evidence regarding Rubio’s own sexual history.

  • gratuitous

    And, of course, the last step. Once the courts say that the law of the land has to apply to everyone, and Congress and the legislatures no longer hold majorities in their favor, and voter referendums no longer endorse their bigotry, comes the plaintive wail of “respecting” the rights of bigots to bigot. Whether it’s dressed up as “religious freedom” or whatever, they find that when the “minority” shoe is on their own foot, it pinches uncomfortably.

    Unlike sexual minorities or black people or others who have been discriminated against in the past for immutable personal characteristics, bigots can join the mainstream majority simply by changing their opinion.

  • therling

    Rubio on the SCOTUS Obergefell decision: “I don’t believe any case law is settled law. Any future Supreme Court can change it. And ultimately, I will appoint Supreme Court justices that will interpret the Constitution as originally constructed,”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marco-rubio-meet-the-press-marriage_us_566d9098e4b0fccee16ee695

  • I just heard a conservative predict that the next big political scandal is going to be foreign money in US campaigns thanks to Citizens United. Since they don’t have to reveal the donors, it could be anyone including donors embarrassing to the campaigns or even those who can’t legally donate. This is a ticking time bomb and there’s no telling whose campaign will explode first.

  • I find it hard to believe that Rubio, known for bouncing around between Catholic and Baptist churches (which he still does) and who was even Mormon at one point has any idea what he believes. This isn’t about his beliefs. This is about what his handlers have told him to say.

  • It’s not surprising to find a politician spouting focus-group tested slogans. What’s surprising is that Rubio is so bad at it. He just repeats them like a robot. Given the stupidity of most GOP primary voters I’m not sure that hurts him that much but we’ll see in NH and SC.

  • Nick McBain

    “Rubio’s belief is a religious one, and that belief alone shouldn’t be the basis for public policy.”
    I think we have a blizzard of strident clashing beliefs in the GOP: unfortunately belief in common humanity and engaging with the rest of the world rank the lowest, belief in Building Bigger Battleships the highest! Boom Boom

  • Quilla

    Sounds as if he’s just barely holding together before his nervous breakdown.

  • mark_in_toronto

    Keep talking Rubio . . . in fact, ALL you Repubs should NOT hold anything back. Because, every time you open your mouths, you convince more people how certifiably toxic you are to American Democracy. Thanks for your help.

  • The feckless, lying twerp really can’t think on his feet at all or process new information. Nothing but recited conservative wingnut talking points.

    Someone should ask Rubio if he believes Madison v. Marbury was decided wrongly and whether the Supreme Court has any authority to overturn unconstitutional laws.

    In any case, this is still more radical conservative Calvinball. If they lose in the federal courts, they insist it should be a legislative matter. When they lose there, they say it should be a voter referendum. When they lose there, they say federal law should override individual state laws; when they lose there, they argue “states rights.”

    “You should have the law changed by the legislature,” Rubio squawked, apparently forgetting basic American government civics which has multiple avenues for changing laws or overturning unconstitutional ones.

    Loved this last bit:

    Mr. Rubio decided to conclude their conversation. “I respect your view,” he said, patting Mr. Kierstead on the shoulder and starting to walk away.

    Mr. Kierstead was unsatisfied. “Typical politician,” he said loudly. “Walk away.”

    The Marcobot obviously has no respect for any views other than his own far-right reactionary ones.

  • UncleBucky

    GOTV to short-circuit Rubiobot.

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