Sen. Marco Rubio won’t vote for a bill preserving nationwide marriage equality. But most of Florida’s Representatives in the U.S. House voted in favor of the legislation, including six Republicans.
Rubio, a Miami Republican up for re-election this year, told CNN’s Manu Raju that he won’t support the bill when it reaches the Senate floor and called it a “stupid waste of time.”
That presents a stark difference with Rep. Val Demings, his Democratic opponent in November. She voted in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act (HR 8404) when the House passed it.
“Equality under the law is an American value. We’re going to stand up for freedom and refuse to go back into a discriminatory past,” Demings said in a statement.
“A small group of politicians do not get to dictate America’s future in this government of the people. Every married couple must have fair and equal access to all of the benefits of marriage, from Social Security to veterans and military benefits to health care. I’ll always fight for your freedom and I’m proud to help support legislation to protect every American couple’s fundamental right to have their marriage treated as equal under federal law.”
The vote took place shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, with Justice Clarence Thomas signaling in his concurring opinion that other precedent could be revisited, including the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that requires all 50 states to license same-sex marriages.
When he ran for President in 2015, Rubio suggested he would appoint justices that would overrule the same-sex marriage ruling as well.
But that’s a position increasingly being abandoned by members of his own party.
Every Democrat representing Florida in the House voted in favor of codifying same-sex marriage rights. On the Republican side, a majority voted against the bill, including Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Byron Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Greg Steube and Daniel Webster.
But six Republicans in Florida’s delegation voted for the bill: Reps. Kat Cammack, Mario Díaz-Balart, Carlos Giménez, Brian Mast, María Elvira Salazar and Michael Waltz.
Four of those Representatives hail from South Florida districts, making Rubio the only Miami-area lawmaker representing Florida in Congress who remains opposed to the bill.