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As Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio gear up 2016 presidential campaign, HRC highlights their opposition to LGBT equality

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released comprehensive research reports on potential presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio that highlight their record opposing LGBT equality.

The research document marks the Human Rights Campaign’s first effort to chronicle where potential 2016 presidential candidates stand on LGBT equality. The document, which will be hosted at hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts, will serve as an online resource for documenting the record and rhetoric of potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates, and where they stand on key LGBT issues. Bush and Rubio are among the first tier of candidates to be released by HRC.

“The simple fact is that actions speak louder than words, and as Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush opposed marriage equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s VP for Policy and Political Affairs. “Given his record, Jeb Bush needs to explain whether he supports or opposes a new constitutional amendment that would define marriage as one man and one woman that is supported by some candidates.”

“Marco Rubio has opposed marriage equality, opposed ENDA, and campaigned with some of the most outspoken opponents of marriage equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s VP for Policy and Political Affairs. “Given his vote against protecting LGBT workers from employment discrimination, Marco Rubio needs to explain whether he’s planning to roll back President Obama’s executive order that protects millions of workers from discrimination.”

Highlights on What’s at Stake and Where Bush Stands:

Overview: As governor of Florida, Jeb Bush consistently opposed marriage equality for LGBT Americans. And he showed a willingness to appoint staff and contribute money to causes that had strong anti-equality agendas. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On Marriage Equality: As governor, Bush said he believed marriage was between “one man” and “one woman” and eventually supported amending Florida’s constitution to oppose same-sex marriage. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On LGBT Discrimination: When asked by a potential LGBT employee about his policy on hiring gay person, Bush suggested the employee should stay closeted. He has a history of opposing protections for LGBT Americans as “special legal rights,” and while he now says he believes in preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation, he has not said whether he supports ENDA. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Harmful Rhetoric: Bush called marriage and partner benefits for LGBT Americans “special rights.”   [Download Full Research Brief]

Adoption: Bush opposed allowing LGBT couples to adopt as governor. After same-sex couples were allowed to adopt, Bush said he respected the law. [Download Full Research Brief]

Anti-bullying: Set up Commission on Bullying after student committed suicide. [Download Full Research Brief]

Highlights on What’s at Stake and Where Rubio Stands:

Overview: Whether the issue is marriage equality or protecting workers from discrimination, when questions of LGBT equality have come before him, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has consistently opposed giving LGBT Americans equal treatment.  [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On Marriage Equality: Rubio has consistently opposed marriage equality. He’s made a special point to correct press reports that suggest he is open to marriage equality. And he even thanked Speaker John Boehner for spending taxpayer dollars to protect the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On LGBT Discrimination: As a candidate, Rubio said he opposed including sexual under civil rights laws. Despite claiming he opposed discrimination, Rubio voted against ENDA, which would give LGBT Americans explicit protection from discrimination in the workplace. And he threatened to oppose his own immigration bill if it included same-sex couples. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Conversion Therapy: Rubio has raised money in Florida for a key backer of conversion therapy. [Download Full Research Brief]

Harmful Rhetoric Rubio has recorded robocalls for the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) which named him a “real marriage champion”. He has helped raised money for the Florida Family Policy Council, whose leader said that being gay is an “artificial, social construct” that is “dangerous.” [Download Full Research Brief]

Adoption: Rubio opposes allowing LGBT couples to adopt because children shouldn’t “be part of a social experiment.”  [Download Full Research Brief]



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Posted by on Feb 27, 2015. Filed under Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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