Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is scheduled to speak at an event held by an anti-LGBT Christian group, after citing the terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando as a reason for reconsidering running for re-election.
Rubio, who had repeatedly insisted he would not seek re-election for his Senate seat after losing his Republican presidential primary bid, has maintained anti-gay positions throughout his political career. But after 49 people were killed by a gunman in Pulse nightclub, Rubio said the event “deeply impacted” him and led him to reconsider leaving politics.
“I think when it visits your home state, when it impacts a community you know well, it really gives you pause to think a little bit about your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country,” Rubio said after the massacre.
Rubio has been accused of politicizing the tragedy and using it as an excuse to reconsider running, with the Human Rights Council calling it “staggering to think he would be using this moment for his own personal ambitions.”
Next week in Orlando, Rubio is scheduled to address an event hosted by the Florida Renewal Project, a chapter of the American Renewal Project, which works to promote an anti-LGBT political agenda. The event is being promoted by the Liberty Counsel, another anti-LGBT group, because its founder Mat Staver is speaking. Staver is the lawyer who represented Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses for gay couples.
The “Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project” event is being held Aug. 11-12 in Orlando.
Corrected 8/3/16: This article has been corrected to reflect that the event is not explicitly anti-LGBT and is being hosted by the Florida Renewal Project.