A Florida LGBT rights group has criticized Florida Senator Marco Rubio's recent comment that allowing gay couples to marry threatens Christianity.

Rubio, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, told CBN's David Brody last week that marriage equality represents “a real and present danger” to religious freedom.

“We are at the water's edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech because today we've reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” he said.

“So what's the next step after that?” Rubio rhetorically asked. “After they're done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech. That's a real and present danger.”

In a fund-raising email sent to supporters last week, SAVE compared Rubio to Anita Bryant, a former singer and beauty queen who squandered her career fighting to repeal Miami-Dade County's gay-inclusive human-rights law in the late 1970s.

“If Senator Rubio wants to be president in 2016, he should know that Floridians won't support anti-LGBT attacks at the ballot box – just ask fellow equality opponent and Floridian celebrity Anita Bryant, whose effort to legalize anti-gay discrimination in Miami-Dade County was overturned by voters in 2002 with SAVE's help,” the email states.