Appearing at Saturday's Republican presidential debate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio claimed that his opposition to marriage equality doesn't make him a hater.

“On one hand, it's clear young people across the political spectrum increasingly favor same-sex marriage,” Fox News contributor Mary Katharine Ham said. “However, young voters have not moved to the left on abortion.”

“How do you speak to millennials on both these issues while Democrats will inevitably charge intolerance and extremism?” Ham asked Rubio.

“I don't believe that believing in traditional marriage the way I do makes you a bigot or a hater,” Rubio answered. “It means that you believe that this institution that's been around for millennia is an important cornerstone of our society.”

“I respect people that believe differently. But I believe deeply that marriage should be between one man and one woman,” he added.

While Rubio opposes a constitutional amendment that would exclude gay and lesbian couples from marriage by defining the institution as a heterosexual union, he's said that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who oppose marriage equality.

Rubio has also said that allowing gay couples to marry threatens Christianity.

On other related related issues, Rubio is opposed to protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity and opposed repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy.