U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., appeared at the Conservative Political Action Committee convention on Thursday asking liberals to respect the conservative viewpoints on social issues, stating that his opposition to same-sax marriage “does not make me a bigot.”
CPAC, which is held across three days from Thursday to Saturday in Washington D.C., is billed as a premier gathering for conservative politicians to discuss strategy and publicly deliver speeches on the year’s political goals.
Rubio appeared at Thursday’s gathering to discuss his opposition to same-sex marriage and publicly funded birth control. The Florida senator stated that he believes his conservative views on the issues do not make him bigoted or chauvinist.
“Now in order to work together with people that you disagree with, there has to be mutual respect,” Rubio stated according to the Raw Story. “That means I respect people that disagree with me on certain things, but they have to respect me too.”
“Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot,” Rubio continued to an enthusiastic audience. “Just because we believe life, all life -- all human life is worthy of protection at every stage in its development does not make you a chauvinist.”
“In fact, the people that are really closed-minded in American politics are the people that love to preach about the certainty of science in regard to our climate, but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception.”
PBS states that 2013’s theme for CPAC is “America's Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives; New Challenges, Timeless Principles." Other speakers at Thursday’s conference included Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Watch a video of Rubio’s speech below, courtesy of CNN and the Raw Story.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.