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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

LGBTQ activist wants Rubio to apologize for quoting her at Orlando event



An LGBT activist is demanding Sen. Marco Rubio apologize for quoting her in a speech to religious leaders in Orlando on Friday.

Rubio quoted Victoria Kirby York, a lesbian woman who said at a prayer vigil following the shooting at Pulse nightclub that, “For our community, far too many have never seen a sight like this. Finding a place where they can be prayed over for who they are, that place for many just exists in their dreams.”

But Kirby York, who is originally from Brandon, told the Times/Herald that she's "appalled" Rubio used her words in a speech where he also expressed support for what he called "traditional marriage" between a man and a woman.

"I would rather the Senator really listen to what I said as a Christian than use my words to justify sharing a stage with some of the most virulently anti-LGBTQ voices in our country," she said. "I invite Senator Rubio to a real conversation that may help him​ turn the words he used into action that honors the memory of the victims of Orlando. If he is not willing to do that, I would like his apology for using my words.”

But, she said, she's hopeful that Rubio's use of her words could represent a "change of heart."

"I hope it will be translated into action​ and I wholeheartedly welcome it and the actions that must therefore follow," she said. "However, Senator Rubio's record shows a politician who opposes marriage equality for my wife​ and me, rejects meaningful​ legislation to help create a nation free from gun violence, and opposes ​protection against discrimination for LGBTQ people."

Many groups in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community spoke out against Rubio's speech to the “Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project” conference in Orlando.

In the speech, he urged conservatives to listen to thte struggles the LGBTQ community has faced and said it's important to love all people.

"To love our neighbors, we must abandon a spirit of judgment," he said, according to a transcript obtained by the Times/Herald. "Do not judge or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others you will be judged. And with a measure you use it will be used to measure you. And we should remember not to ignore the plank in our own eye."

Rubio is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate. In the Aug. 30 primary, he faces Bradenton developer Carlos Beruff.



[Last modified: Friday, August 12, 2016 6:54pm]


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