Phobie Awards: The 13 Worst People of the Year
BY Advocate.com Editors
December 13 2013 5:00 AM ET
PHOBIE AWARD: SEN. MARCO RUBIO
This Republican golden boy helped broker a deal in the Senate on comprehensive immigration reform while simultaneously threatening to toss out his signature piece of legislation if Democrats added help for same-sex couples who were being split up by outdated immigration rules. "If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill, he said on conservative radio in June. "I'm gone, I'm off it, and I've said that repeatedly." Then in September, a Miami association for black lawyers accused Rubio of dropping his support for the nomination of William Thomas for a federal judgeship because Thomas is gay. While back in Florida, Rubio consorts with the most extreme antigay forces. Even with so-called reparative therapy being outlawed for minors in California and New Jersey (home to another Republican darling), Rubio accepted a gig as keynote speaker for the Florida Family Policy Council's annual fundraiser. Not only does the group support trying to turn gay people straight, the event was honoring one of the chief architects of the legal fight against the new bans. The event included the obvious rants against marriage equality but also called on supporters to oppose gay scoutmasters in the Boy Scouts and warned against letting transgender people become schoolteachers. Despite all this, Rubio used his speech this year at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington to insist, "Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot." Usually politicians don't use big speeches to deny they're bigots. We're just saying. —Lucas Grindley
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