Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 9.43.03 AM

Marco Rubio, along with everyone else seeking the highest office in the land, has had his life turned upside-down in an American tradition that’s at best called “vetting” and at worst, “invasion of privacy.” The reality is somewhere in the middle.

One line of investigation has led to an after-hours 1990 arrest with a man named Angel Barrios in a public park well-known for gay cruising.

And while it’s completely speculative to suggest the two were there to get frisky — though Trump supporters, as you can imagine, are salivating at the chance to cast Rubio as a closeted homosexual — there’s no guess-work needed in connecting Barrios, decades later, with one of the most notorious gay porn rings in Florida’s history.

Related: Republicans Are Using Marco Rubio’s Boots For Gay-Baiting

But let’s start with what we know about the arrest.

On May 23, 1990, an 18-year-old Rubio was with Barrios and another teen at Alice C. Wainwright Park after dark when they were detained. “People went out there to smoke illegal substances, have sex, drink,” a police spokesman told the Post in a story published last Friday.

The teens were booked that night around 9:30 p.m., though the misdemeanor charges were later dropped. Rubio and Barrios went on to share a townhouse while Rubio attended Santa Fe Community College.

Fast-forward fifteen years, and Rubio is sworn in as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, reflecting his meteoric rise in the state’s Republican party.

Related: Antigay Republican Lawmaker Caught Cruising Grindr For A Winter Cuddle Bud

During that time, Barrios worked in property management. In 2007, he had his own experience in the spotlight when it was revealed a house owned by his family was being used by a website called as a gay porn webcam location.

Dozens of muscular black and Hispanic men lived at the house, earning a $1,200 monthly payment plus room and board to have their lives recorded. Scheduled orgies were mandatory.

The story was brought to light by this NBC 6 report:

Following the report, the City of Miami sued Barrios for illegally running an adult business in a residential area.

Then Barrios sued the city in federal court — with as a co-plaintiff.

Related: Phillip Hinkle’s Sugar Baby Turns Porn Performer

They argued that since the webcam footage was being consumed off-site, there was nothing illegal about the business as it was all protected under the First Amendment.

Ultimately the feds sided with the city, and Barrios’ brief stint in the gay porn industry was over.


Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated