Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the charismatic young gun of the Republican Party, said in a recent interview he hopes the bipartisan immigration overhaul plan doesn’t become a gay rights issue.
“The immigration issue has so many landmines and pitfalls that it's going to be hard enough to do, as is,” Rubio, who was dubbed the Party’s “savior” in the latest cover of Time Magazine, told BuzzFeed.
Adding in reference to bi-national gay couples: “I think if that issue becomes a central issue in the debate, it's just going to make it harder to get it done because there's going to be a lot of strong feelings about it on both sides.”
The Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, prohibits a gay American legally married to an immigrant from seeking a permanent resident visa for his foreign partner.
President Obama said he intended to include gay bi-national couples in his immigration plan, according to the Associated Press. He has even met with several immigration groups at the White House, including Immigration Equality, a group advocating for equality in immigration laws for LGBT people.
If passed, the immigration reform could affect an estimated 11-million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
Rubio has kept a conservative outlook on gay rights.
Last year, he sat down with Christianity Today discuss his faith and said that while he condemns gay marriage from a religious point of view, he left the door open about the issue from a legislative standpoint.
“It's not a discriminatory thing. I'm not angry at anyone because of it, but I also have to be honest about what I believe marriage should be in our laws,” he said.
During the last election in November, he joined other conservative party leaders like Mike Huckabee and Minister James Dobson recording robocalls to help sway people into voting against gay marriage referendums in Maine, Maryland and Washington.