Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at a hearing on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2022.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
- GOP Sen. Marco Rubio told Insider he wouldn’t vote for a bill to codify same-sex marriage into law.
- “I know plenty of gay people in Florida that are pissed off about gas prices,” he quipped.
- He says the legality of same-sex marriage is a “non-issue” but believes states should decide marriage laws.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told Insider on Wednesday that he would not vote to codify same-sex marriage at the federal level, calling it a “non-issue.”
“I don’t know why we’re doing that bill, there’s no threat to its status in America,” he told Punchbowl News reporter Christian Hall when asked about the Respect for Marriage Act. “But I know plenty of gay people in Florida that are pissed off about gas prices.”
The bipartisan bill, which passed the House on Tuesday with 47 Republicans joining every Democrat in favor, would write protections for both same-sex and interracial marriage into law.
Six Republicans from Florida voted for the bill, including Reps. Kat Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Gimenez, Brian Mast, Maria Elvira Salazar, and Mike Waltz.
Asked whether he supported same-sex marriage generally, Rubio punted again.
“States decide marriage laws, they always have,” he said. “It’s why you can get married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator in two hours.”
Insider then asked Rubio why he wouldn’t say clearly which way he’d vote.
“I’m not voting for that bill, what do you mean I won’t say how I’ll vote?” he said, calling the bill a “waste of our time on a non-issue.”
Rubio is up for re-election this year, facing Democrat Val Demings in the state’s US Senate race. Asked for clarification on Rubio’s comments, his communications director Dan Holler pointed out that the Florida Republican has been consistent in his position on the issue.
“I don’t think the current Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate marriage,” Rubio said on “Meet The Press” in December 2015. “That belongs at the state and local level.”
The push to codify same-sex marriage into federal law comes after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, revoking the right to an abortion at the federal law.
Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative, wrote in his concurring opinion that the court “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell” — referring to three landmark decisions regarding the right to access contraception, anti-sodomy laws, and same-sex marriage.