Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith provided the following statement:
“Two months ago 49 people were murdered by yet another angry young man embracing a hateful ideology who targeted an LGBT nightclub. Our gun laws are so appalling, this madman was able to purchase weapons capable of mass slaughter. Rubio wants to invoke the names of the victims to deflect criticism of him sharing the stage with notorious bigots. He used this platform to gin up anti-Muslim hatred while opposing the most basic LGBT protections and gun safety measures that have been shown to dramatically reduce gun deaths. His hypocrisy is appalling.
If Rubio truly wanted to make discrimination against LGBT people a thing of the past, he would support the passage of state and federal legislation that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people. If Rubio truly represented Florida’s constituents, he would have voted for legislation requiring universal background checks on all gun purchases, instead of voting it down just a few weeks after the Pulse massacre. If Rubio truly wanted the American church to “abandon the spirit of judgement,” he would not share a stage with those who use hate speech as a weapon and call on people to martyr themselves to oppose equal protection for LGBT people. He supports laws that treat LGBT people as his inferiors and deny us the same protections he demands for himself and his family. His statement at today’s extremist conference was tone-deaf and spineless, and we do not need his hollow thoughts and prayers. His cruel actions, not his pandering words, define his character.”