rubio riled

Buttigieg roasts Rubio for calling same-sex marriage bill a “waste of time”

Pete Buttigieg takes aim at Marco Rubio
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Photo: Twitter)

A war of words has broken out between Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Yesterday, Jake Tapper interviewed Buttigieg for CNN”s State of the Union show. Buttigieg was asked about the opposition shown by some Republicans to the Respect for Marriage Act. Specifically, Tapper asked him about Rubio calling the legislation a “stupid waste of time.”

Rubio says there is no threat the same-sex marriage and therefore the legislation is unnecessary.

Related: Marco Rubio says he knows what’s upsetting the gays, and it’s not marriage rights

Buttigieg, who is gay and married, responded, “If [Rubio’s] got time to fight against Disney, I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine — look, this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me.”

He went on to talk about spending breakfast with his infant twins, to give his husband Chasten a rest. Buttigieg said, “That’s no small thing, as every parent of small kids knows.

“That half-hour of my morning had me thinking about how much I depend on and count on my spouse every day, and our marriage deserves to be treated equally.”

What is the ‘Respect for Marriage’ Act?

The Respect for Marriage Act came about after the Supreme Court decided last month to overturn Roe v Wade, sending the issue of abortion back to individual states.

Justice Clarence Thomas, in his opinion notes, said the court should look again at Obergefell v. Hodges. That 2015 SCOTUS ruling legalized same-sex marriage across the US.

To help protect equal marriage, members of Congress introduced the Respect for Marriage Act in both chambers. It repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

DOMA defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. It has technically remained in place, despite the SCOTUS ruling of 2015.

If SCOTUS was to reverse Obergefell, states could potentially use DOMA to block same-sex marriage.

Having passed in the House, all eyes are now on the Senate to see if the ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ passes there. At least ten Republican Senators will have to support the legislation for it to pass.

Asked last week by Punchbowl News if he would support the legislation, Rubio said, “I don’t know why we’re doing that bill. There’s no threat to its status in America.

“But I know plenty of gay people in Florida that are pissed off about gas prices,” he added.

CNN’s Manu Raju also asked him about it. Republican Rubio told him the legislation was a “stupid waste of time.”

Related: Pete Buttigieg highlights the GOP lawmakers living in the past

Rubio responds to Buttigieg criticism

In a new video posted to social media last night, Rubio shot back at Buttigieg’s criticism of him. He accused Buttigieg of not understanding the difference between a state-level issue (Rubio’s fight against Disney and the “transgender agenda”), and a federal issue (the same-sex marriage legislation).

“Working Americans, of every background, struggle with real problems like gas prices & flight cancellations,” Rubio said in the accompanying caption. “But we have a Transportation Secretary who wants us to focus on a fake problem & who went to Harvard but apparently doesn’t know the difference between state & federal issues.”

Rubio finished by saying, “I’m not gonna focus on the agenda dictated by a bunch of affluent, elitist liberals, and a bunch of Marxist misfits.”