Sunday, March 2, 2014

DNC says Rubio "trying to have it both ways" on Arizona anti-gay proposal

Posted By on Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Marco Rubio was the main politician featured on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday, where he was booked to talk specifically about his strong reaction to Russia's use of military force in Ukraine.

But being a national GOP figure, host David Gregory asked the Florida Senator about some domestic issues, including his thoughts on that controversial proposal in Arizona that would have provided a wide variety of religious exemptions to Arizona businesses that denied service to gays. The bill was ultimately vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer.

“Well, I don't believe that gay Americans should be denied services at a restaurant or hotel or anything of that nature," Rubio said. "I also don't believe however that a caterer or photographer should be punished by the state for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding because of their religious held believes. We've got to figure out a way to the protect that, as well.”

But that comment prompted a response from the Democratic National Committee.

"This isn’t the first time Rubio has said that he thinks some businesses should be able to legally discriminate against other Americans," writes the DNC's Michael Czin in an email. "Last year, Rubio joined with numerous other Republicans to co-sponsor federal legislation similar to the Arizona bill. "

That's a reference to the “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act" introduced in the Senate last December by Utah's Mike Lee that would prevent federal officials from revoking churches’ and other nonprofits groups’ of their tax-exempt statuses over their support for traditional marriage.

The liberal website Think Progress has written that the legislation "could allow businesses to discriminate against employees with a same-sex spouse, government officials to discriminate against same-sex couples filing their taxes jointly, or religiously affiliated hospitals discriminating against patients with same-sex spouses.'

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