Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) believes marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman but he also said that he would go to the wedding of someone close to him who is gay or lesbian.
“If it’s somebody in my life that I care for, of course I would,” Rubio said in an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos.
Rubio, who recently jumped into the 2016 presidential race, added that he wasn’t going to try and hurt someone because he disagreed with them about same-sex marriage.
“I’m not going to hurt them simply because I disagree with a choice they’ve made or because I disagree with a decision they’ve made, or whatever it may be,” Rubio said. “Ultimately, if someone that you care for and is part of your family has decided to move in one direction or another or feels that way because of who they love, you respect that because you love them.”
Gay marriage has been an ongoing issue among likely and announced 2016 Republican candidates. Virtually the entire Republican field sided with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) in defending a controversial religious freedom law that would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples because of religious objections.
Rubio took a decidedly more moderate approach than some of his colleagues. He said that it shouldn’t be legal to deny someone service because of sexual orientation but also said that a photographer, for example, shouldn’t be punished for refusing to do something that violates their religious views.
In the past Rubio has decried the “growing intolerance” against people who oppose same-sex marriage. In 2014, he warned that people who argue against legalizing same-sex marriage risk being branded as bigots.
“There is a growing intolerance on this issue, intolerance of those who continue to support traditional marriage,” Rubio said in 2014. “Even before this speech is over, I’ll be attacked as a hater or bigot. Or someone who’s anti-gay. This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy. Supporting the definition of marriage as one man and one woman, is not anti-gay. It is pro-traditional marriage.”
In January, Rubio criticized court rulings in his homestate of Florida that opened the door to legalizing same-sex marriage in his state.
“If they wanted to change that law, they should have gone to the legislature or back to the Constitution and try to change it,” Rubio said. “I don’t agree we should be trying to make those changes through the courts.”