The man viewed by many as the future of the Republican party really seems to like its homophobic past. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will be the keynote speaker at the Florida Family Policy Council’s awards dinner on Nov. 16.
Rubio’s appearance is an effort to get himself back in the good graces of ultra-conservatives after betraying them by supporting (gasp!) immigration reform that everyone agrees needs to happen. By great good luck, he happen to choose one of the most homophobic groups in the nation to address. Florida Family Policy Council is headed by John Stemberger, who formed a separate youth organization to protest the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow gay troops. Stemberger fears that gay troops will lead to an outbreak of “boy-on-boy contact.” For good measure, he was also a leading opponent of a failed domestic partnership bill in the state.
But wait! There’s more!
The dinner will honor Matthew Staver, head of Liberty Counsel, a religious right legal group that has opposed California’s ban on ex-gay therapy, participated in a challenge to New York’s marriage equality law, and has served as legal counsel to a woman who illegally fled the country with her daughter after her ex-partner won custody rights. Staver has further distinguished himself by trashing a transgender woman fired from her job on Fox News (of course).
Rubio clearly wants to be president. If that means sucking up to the religious right at our expense, he’s happy to do it, right down to using the red-meat rhetoric from the culture wars. He’s the perfect candidate for the GOP. He looks young, but he thinks old.