When I blogged shortly after the Pulse night club shootings, Rubio & Bondi – I'm Disgusted With Your Appearance In Orlando This Weekend many jumped on me and said maybe these to Floridia politicians are changing their mind about LGBT rights. Others said we should give them a chance to change and not hold them to their past actions.
I chose not to blog about Rubio's upcoming speaking engagement in Orlando, a function full of anti-LGBT speakers. I just didn't want to give the man the attention. Instead, I just want him to go away and yes, I was judging on his past actions and his continuous dislike of marriage equality.
So how did Rubio do at his hate meeting? Okay, okay, let's see what he said before I / we pass too much judgment.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has faced widespread condemnation for agreeing to speak at a conference alongside Christian conservatives who have denounced homosexuality and gay rights, used his speech to the group on Friday to warn of the costs of intolerance.
His remarks in Orlando, Fla., not far from the site of the massacre at a gay nightclub in June, were his most extensive yet in public on the subject of prejudice against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. And he struck a notably softer tone than during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, during which he repeatedly reaffirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage
Using the shorthand “L.G.B.T.” several times, Mr. Rubio told the group that the perception that many Christians are anti-gay is harming their faith. He urged them to resist passing judgment on gays.
“Do not judge, or you will be judged,” he said, echoing a verse from the Bible.
“To love our neighbors we must recognize that many have experienced sometimes severe condemnation and judgment from some Christians,” he said. “They have heard some say that the reason God will bring condemnation on America is because of them — as if somehow God was willing to put up with adultery and gluttony and greed and pride, but now this is the last straw.”
While he repeated his belief that marriage should not be redefined to include same-sex couples, his speech touched on the history of discrimination against gays, which he asked his audience to consider.
“When it comes to our brothers and our sisters, our fellow Americans, our neighbors in the L.G.B.T. community, we should recognize,” he said, that American history “has been marred by discrimination against and rejection of gays and lesbians.”
He then walked through a list of examples that included discriminatory hiring practices by the federal government, raids of gay establishments by the police and the proliferation of anti-gay slurs.
Mr. Rubio drew especially harsh criticism from gay rights activists for agreeing to speak to the group, the Florida Renewal Project, because he has said the killings at the Pulse nightclub caused him to reconsider his decision not to run again for the Senate. As he runs for re-election, social conservatives are an important constituency.
According to People for the American Way, which tracks anti-gay activists, several of the speakers listed on the invitation with Mr. Rubio have said many of the things the senator spoke out against on Friday. One of them, David Barton, a longtime Republican Party activist from Texas, has said that AIDS is a punishment for homosexuality. – nytimes.com
So has the leopard changed its spots? tiger changed its stripes? politician changed his platform? He's still against same-sex marriage, but is his compassion for other LGBT equality issues enough for him to gain your vote?
Do we take his new words of “do not judge, or you will be judged" as his new truth? Or are his words more so don't hate because it looks bad for your religion? Is he telling Christians it is okay to tolerate the LGBT community, just don't show public disgust for them. It reminds me of the common practice of not looking at the homeless for if you don't see them, they don't exist, and your city doesn't have a problem.
What do you think of Rubio's latest campaign stop? Does it show compassion toward the LGBT community or is it a calling to continue to hate, just don't discriminate?
Mr. Rubio faces a primary challenge on Aug. 30.