As I See It Opinion

Just When We Thought We Were Rid of the Bigot: Marco Rubio Runs for Re-Election

Written by Richard Hack

Last week would have been hysterically funny, if it wasn’t such a sad statement of “politics as usual” in Florida. Marco Rubio announced he was running again for the U.S. Senate, representing the Sunshine State. That, unfortunately, is both the joke and the punchline.

Rudio spent the last year, during his unsuccessful bid for the Republican Presidential nomination, telling everyone and anyone who would listen that he would not run for reelection to the Senate. He said it so often in fact that we suspected that he was threatening that if we didn’t vote for this irritant of a politician that we would be the ones responsible for losing him as a public servant. Well, no such luck.

In one of the most amazing flip flops in American political theater, Rubio announced last Wednesday that he was in back in the Senate race hoping to keep the seat that he’s held since 2011. That in itself is bad enough news, without hearing the reason he says he feels compelled to run.

Rubio said that he was “deeply impacted” by the Orlando massacre at Pulse Nightclub on June 12th in which 49 members of the LGBT community were murdered. Though some of the victims were not gay, they were certainly LGBT allies, and made little distinction between sexual identities.

Rubio announced that he was even more impacted than he might otherwise might have been, because he “knew the community well.” Really?

Marco Rubio can claim many things, but knowing the Latino LGBT community is not one of them. He knows nothing about that community or any other group encompassed within the LGBT base. Worse still, he does not care to know.

To attempt to use the tragedy in Orlando as the reason behind his move to re-enter the race for the U.S. Senate is as absurd as it is damaging.

Senator Mark Rubio has consistently voted against every LGBT legislation that has been offered to promote equality and human rights.

During his recent run for the Republican presidential nomination, Rubio promised to try to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision that allowed same-sex marriage to be legal in all 50 states. Much like Donald Trump, if elected president, Rubio promised to try to turn back the clock by appointing ultra-conservative justices.

Rubio opposes transgender people’s use of restroom facilities that correspond to their gender identity. If he returns to the Florida Senate, we can expect him to continue that fight, despite the legal absurdity of the challenge.

If elected president, he promised to remove all of President Barack Obama’s executive orders that currently protect Federal workers who identify as LGBT. Additionally, Rudio voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has failed to pass in every Congress since 1994.

And let’s not get started on the issue of Pat McCrory. The bigoted governor of North Carolina’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is specifically targeted at permitting private business to deny services to the LGBT community. It has cost NC hundreds of millions in contracts and convention business. Yet, Marco Rubio has given McCrory his support—even after McCrory endorsed Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.

All of which brings us back to the massacre in Orlando. It is beyond a cheap trick for the Florida Senator who himself hates gays, and is against giving the LGBT community even the most simple of rights, to say the Pulse Nightclub attack was “the new face of the war on terror.” While you may not carry an AK-15 assault rifle, Senator, you are equally as hateful as the murderer who pulled the trigger in Orlando.

You don’t kill us with bullets, of course. You just delight in removing health care benefits, retirement benefits, marriage benefits, job benefits, housing benefits, and any other form of assistance from gays and lesbians, transgenders and bisexuals, that the heterosexual community has come to expect as their human right.

Welcome back to the race for a Senate seat that you have admitted to hating, Marco. Your scam to position yourself for yet another Presidential run in 2020 is fooling no one; least of all the LGBT community.