Sen. Marco Rubio was caught off guard Tuesday while speaking at a press conference in Orlando about how businesses in the city were affected by the Pulse shooting when someone from the crowd interrupted, saying, "I'm really angry with you."
The speaker was David Thomas Moran, one of the 10 people arrested last week after staging a sit-in for 49 hours, in honor of the 49 lives lost at Pulse nightclub, at Rubio's office in Orlando. Moran went into the press conference Tuesday with the media while protesters demonstrated outside. The protesters, who were using the hashtag #SitInForThe49, were asking the senator to "take action on legislation for gun control, LGBTQ protections and safer communities of color," reports Orlando Weekly.
Moran told Rubio, "I don't feel like you're doing anything to support the queer Latinx community that has been so devastated by this, the LGBTQ+ community. I need to know what is your relationship with the [National Rifle Association]. Why are you talking to transphobes and homophobes? ... All of you have blood on your hands."
The Florida senator responded, "I disagree with your assessment. Homophobia means you're scared of people. I'm not scared of people. Quite frankly I respect all people. We probably have a disagreement on the definition of marriage."
Moran then told Rubio, "Your policies kill people. Your policies enable people to be murdered. You have to protect us. You're not protecting us. We're going to be killed. We're going to be gunned down like what just happened at this club over here You have blood on your hands. You can't deny it."
Rubio, who will be speaking at the Republican convention tonight, told Moran that he was in Washington, D.C., when the activists staged the sit-in and thus had "nothing to do with the arrests," reports Orlando Weeekly. He claimed that his staff had nothing to do with it either, since they are solely tenants, not owners of the building.
At the time, Rubio's office released a statement, saying, "Senator Rubio respects the views of others on these difficult issues, and he welcomes the continued input he is receiving from people across the political spectrum. Over the past month, Senator Rubio has supported common sense compromises to make it easier to track individuals who have been on the terror watch list and later try to buy firearms, all while improving due process protections for law abiding Americans."
Moran spoke to Watermark, Central Florida's LGBT newspaper, after he was arrested with nine other activists at Rubio's office July 11. He said he felt compelled to take part in the action because he lost two friends at Pulse. "Pulse was the first gay club I went to in Orlando when I was coming out," Moran told Watermark.
Watch the full video from the press conference below.
[facebook https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Forlandoweekly%2Fvideos%2F1149034885119371%2F&show_text=0&width=400 expand=1 site_id=25879312]