Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Monday
defended his appearance at an event hosted by opponents of LGBT
Rubio and Donald Trump, the Republican
nominee for president, had been criticized for taking part in last
week's two-day event, part of the American Renewal Project's
“Rediscovering God” campaign. Many who spoke at the conference,
such as Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, strongly oppose LGBT rights.
Critics also pointed out that Friday was the second month anniversary
of the mass shooting in an Orlando gay nightclub that left 49 people
dead and injured dozens more.
In his speech, Rubio reiterated his
support for “traditional marriage” and his right to hold that
view, but also said that the United States “has been marred by
discrimination against and the rejection of gays and lesbians.”
“To love our neighbors in the LGBT
community we should recognize that even as we stand firm in the
belief that marriage is the union between one man and one woman,
there are those in that community in same-sex relationships whose
love for one another is real, and who feel angry and humiliated that
the law did not recognize their relationship as a marriage,” he
said on Friday.
When asked about the appearance, Rubio
told WPLG that his message had not changed.
“My message was the message I gave.
[It was] the message that I've given before, which is irrespective of
how you feel about the definition of marriage we should all respect
each other's views,” he told the TV network.
“I spoke to them about how important
that was for the role of the church to be welcoming to all people and
that you don’t necessarily have to endorse what somebody might do
in order to accept them for who they are and love them,” Rubio