When voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington receive robocalls urging them to vote against marriage equality Tuesday, one of the voices on the line will be that of U.S. senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising star in the Republican Party.
Rubio has joined former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and antigay minister James Dobson in recording anti-marriage equality robocalls for the National Organization for Marriage, the Washington Blade reports. They will be in English and Spanish.
In Maine, Maryland, and Washington, voters are considering ballot measures that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. The NOM robocalls will also go to Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, which are considered swing states in the presidential election. The robocall campaign has a $500,000 budget, according to a NOM press release.
Rubio is an up-and-comer in the Republican Party as it tries to increase support among Latinos, and he was said to be under consideration as a vice-presidential candidate. The Blade notes, "Rubio's opposition to same-sex marriage is well known, although he contrasts with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on the issue by not supporting a Federal Marriage Amendment. As a senator, Rubio has voted against an LGBT-inclusive reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and doesn't co-sponsor any pro-LGBT bills."
Of the NOM effort, Human Rights Campaign spokesman Fred Sainz told the Blade, "I'm sure these calls will be full of the last-minute lies that NOM trots out during every campaign. It's their stock in trade. But we're confident that fair-minded Americans will reject the messages. No doubt there will be a fair number of 'unsubscribes' in the process."
HRC also has a robocall campaign going, urging voters to support marriage equality, reelect President Obama, and elect other pro-LGBT candidates.