Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., warned Christians that the church's mainstream teaching on homosexuality could be considered hate speech in the near future, during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network this week.
While discussing his Catholic faith and how it influences his positions on social issues and public policy, Rubio commented on the direction America is traveling with its views of the conservative church.
"If you think about, we are at the water's edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech," Rubio said to CBN News. "Because today we've reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater."
"After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there's a real and present danger."
Despite his views on gay marriage, Rubio has said in past interviews that if the Supreme Court rules that it's constitutional in June, Americans would have to accept it.
"I wouldn't agree with ruling, but that would be the law of the land that we would have to follow until it's somehow reversed — either by a future Supreme Court, or a U.S. constitutional amendment, which I don't think is realistic and foreseeable," said Rubio in a CNN interview in January.
Rubio has also said he respects the arguments in favor of same-sex marriage and concedes "that they pose a legitimate question for lawmakers and for society," however, he condemned liberal intolerance toward supporters of traditional marriage, citing the firing of Mozilla CEO for his views on the issue by his pro-gay marriage counterparts.
"This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy," Rubio said during a speech at Catholic University in July of 2014.
Ultimately, Rubio believes the passing of same-sex marriage should be left up to individual states.
"If a majority of people in any given state in this country petition their legislature to change the definition of marriage to include the marriage of two people of the same sex, that'll be the law of the land," Rubio said in a recent NPR interview. "And that is what it is."