Marco Antonio Rubio is a U.S. senator from Florida. Born to Cuban immigrants in 1971, Rubio received a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in 1993; he then attended the University of Miami Law School, graduating with a law degree. In 1998 he was elected to the West Miami City Commission, and the following year earned a seat in the Florida House of Representatives, serving as speaker from 2005–09. In 2010 Rubio won the general election for U.S. Senate, where he currently serves as a junior senator.
Though baptized a Catholic, a young Rubio spent several years as a Mormon. From 2000–04 Rubio and his wife attended Miami's Christ fellowship, a Southern Baptist church. According to his 2012 memoir, Rubio's children have both been baptized into the Catholic Church and have received their First Communion; he also writes that he and his family attend Christ Fellowship on Saturday nights and, on Sundays, attend Mass at St. Louis Catholic Church. Rubio announced his candidacy for president on April 13, 2015.
In 2006, as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Rubio voted no on the Stem Cell Research Funding Amendment. The following year he voted yes on a bill that would, among other things, require a 24-hour waiting period for abortions except in the case of a medical emergency.
Additionally that year, Rubio supported legislation that would require ultrasounds before performing abortions. "I am pro-life. As a state legislator, I supported various pieces of pro-life legislation that, among other things, would require doctors to perform ultrasounds before performing abortions."
In a 2010 Christian Coalition survey, Rubio voiced support for the prohibition of embryonic stem cell research, as well as the public funding of abortions via government health benefits and Planned Parenthood.
In a 2009 editorial, Rubio (who was not yet a senator) said a key reason behind his personal decision to oppose the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was her support of Roe v. Wade. In January 2013, on the 40th anniversary of the Court decision, Rubio said the day "marks the tragic anniversary of one of America's most blatant instances of judicial activism that paved the way for the destruction of innocent unborn life."
When asked in 2012 if he believed contraception is wrong, Rubio repsonded, "Of course not. Who says it is? You're going to get into this whole argument about contraception. No one has ever said that contraception should be illegal, that contraception should be discouraged, that people should be looked down upon for using it." He finished by claiming the argument was never about contraception but rather about religious liberty.
During an interview with Sean Hannity in May of 2015, Rubio affirmed his belief that "human life begins at conception."
Sanctity of Marriage
In 2010 Rubio expressed support for enacting a federal marriage amendment banning same-sex "marriage."
At CPAC 2013, Rubio said he believes states should have the right to define marriage, as opposed to the federal courts, and that believing in traditional marriage "does not make [him] a bigot."
In response to the Supreme Court decision that ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconsitutional, Rubio wrote that he believes "marriage is a unique historical institution best defined as the union between one man and one woman," and he supports each state's right to decide "their own definition of marriage."
During an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," he said, "Well, I don't believe that gay Americans should be denied services at a restaurant or a hotel or anything of that nature. ... I also don't believe, however, that a caterer or a photographer should be punished by the state for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding because of their religious-held beliefs."
He declared at the 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Summit: "Marriage as an institution existed before even government itself. ... The institution of marriage as between one man and one woman existed even before our laws existed."
According to data released on Tuesday, July 21 by the Federal Election Commission, the Rubio campaign has raised more than $18 million. Approximately half of it has already been spent as of June 30. Nearly 80 percent of the funds fall in the category of Individual Contributions, with about $10 million stemming from large individual contributions and approximately $5 million from small individual contributions.
PAC contributions (Students for Rubio Super PAC, Reclaim America Leadership PAC, Conservative Solutions Super PAC and Americans for Marco Rubio Super PAC) constitute five percent of the campaign funds, being little over $1 million. According to the data, there has been no self-financing reported. Nearly $3 million (16 percent) has been categorized as "Other."