A liberal opposition research group blasted 2016 presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for his connection to “religious freedom” bills filed in the Florida and Arkansas legislatures.
American Bridge PAC singled out the Miami Republican for his relationship with District 74 Republican Rep. Julio Gonzalez, who last week filed HB 401, which would allow adoption agencies to not place children with couples whose lifestyle is “contrary to the religious or moral convictions” of the agency.
American Bridge decried Gonzalez’s proposal as “malicious” and said it went “above and beyond” a similar bill introduced in the Indiana legislature, noting that the Florida measure could be used to discriminate against same-sex couples looking to adopt a child.
“His support of Gonzalez in 2014 clearly wasn’t just about winning allies,” the group wrote in an email. “Rubio sees eye to eye with Gonzalez on his most extreme right-wing positions, including bigoted and discriminatory religious freedom laws.
Rubio endorsed the Venice Republican when he ran to take over for former Rep. Doug Holder in the 2014 election cycle, and Gonzalez has since donated $1,350 to Rubio’s presidential campaign and served on the host committee for a fundraiser held in the summer.
The group also attacked Rubio for appointing Arkansas Republican state Sen. Bart Hester as his campaign’s chairman in that state. Hester sponsored a similar religious freedom bill in the Arkansas Legislature.