Florida Senate Candidate Marco Rubio continues to stake his claim of the right-wing fringe in Florida and around the country.
Rubio is set to be the keynote speaker at The Florida Family Policy Council's 5th Annual Public Policy Dinner on May 15th in Orlando, FL. If the Florida Family Policy Council sounds familiar, it is because they are affiliated with Focus on the Family, the rabidly anti-gay, anti-reproductive rights religious organization formerly led by "Family Values" guru James Dobson.
The Florida Family Policy Council is also one of the main groups behind Florida's anti-gay Amendment 2, the "Marriage Protection Amendment", that passed in 2009 and enshrined discrimination into the Florida constitution by not only banning same-sex marriages, but also civil unions and any other relationship recognition for gay Floridians. The group has also constantly opposed efforts to repeal Florida's ban on gay and lesbian people from adopting. Recently, the group succeeded in getting the Florida legislature to pass one of the most restrictive women's choice policies in the nation, requiring that they view an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
This is who Rubio is choosing to speak to during his now three-way race for Senate with newly-minted "independent" Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
Also scheduled at the event is the presentation of a "Lifetime Achievement Award" to honor Don Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association, one of the most active and right-wing religious hate groups in the United States.
AFA built its reputation on organizing boycotts against sponsors of TV shows with "anti-Christian" messages and ideas, or against companies it claims support the "homosexual agenda" or marriage equality. They've targeted everyone from Campbell's Soup to Walmart for being too "gay-friendly." Check out Right Wing Watch's long list of AFA's activities.
The AFA also operates the OneNewsNow website, which peddles conspiracy theories ranging from birthers to death panels and every other fringe, right-wing talking point.
Don Wildmon, the man the event is honoring which Marco Rubio will be headlining, is a staunch supporter of the universally condemned "ex-gay" movement and had this to say about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people:
- The scripture declares that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful. It is a sin grievous to God and repulsive to Chrisitians because it rejects God's design for mankind as heterosexual beings.
- Though there may be many influences in a person's life, the root of homosexuality is a sinful heart. Therefore, homosexuals have only one hope of being reconciled to God and rejecting their sinful behavior - faith in Jesus Christ alone. AFA seeks to use every opportunity to promote and encourage the efforts of ex-gay ministries and organizations.
- We oppose the gay movement's efforts to convince our society that their behavior is normal because we fear the judgment of God on our nation.
- The gay movement is a progressive outgrowth of the sexual revolution of the past 40 years and will lead to the normalization of even more deviant behavior.
- We oppose the effort to convince our culture that because individuals participate in homosexual behavior, they have earned the right to be protected like racial and other minority groups.
This is who Marco Rubio honors. These are the people he is "palling around with" as he seeks to move to a powerful Senate seat.
Rubio has always been an extremist. He led the fight for the regressive policies that have placed Florida so behind the times when he was speaker of the Florida House and obviously seeks to continue to court the far-right hate groups that seek to impose their personal biases on the rest of the nation as he seeks a Senate position.
Sharing the marquee with groups like the Florida Family Policy Council and American Family Association and honoring men like Don Wildmon shows just where Rubio's views and "values" lie.