Politics

03.15.13

Is Marco Rubio a Bigot?

Apparently Rubio knocked 'em dead yesterday at CPAC, and they particularly ate up these lines:

Now in order to work together with people that you disagree with, there has to be mutual respect. That means I respect people that disagree with me on certain things, but they have to respect me too.

Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot. Just because we believe life, all life — all human life is worthy of protection at every stage in its development does not make you a chauvinist.

All right. I know it sounds intolerant to dismiss every American who agrees with Rubio as a bigot. But look at this from the other side.

Fifty years ago, interracial marriage was illegal across the South. The people who justified this position justified it exactly as Rubio justified his opposition to same-sex marriage yesterday--it should be up to the states. And of course they justified it on Biblical grounds. Almighty God had decreed it. The Mark of Cain and so forth.

Was that a reasonable disagreement? Did the people who held that view deserve to be treated with "mutual respect"? No. They were wrong. Morally wrong. In every way. In 1967, the Supreme Court finally came around, but the position was dead wrong and looks horrifying today.

In 50 years, what will Rubio's position look like? I think I know. Now, this comment thread is going to fill up with conservatives discoursing on the vast differences between race and sexuality. Gibberish. The same arguments were used then as now, and they were excuses then and are excuses now. Love is love. The heart--whether inside white, black, straight, gay, or any other kind of casing--feels the same elation and pain. And then there is the question of law, and how society ought to recognize love that is equal. So yep, people who don't accept all this are bigots on this point.