Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has denounced supporters of same sex-marriage, saying they pose a "real and present danger" to Christianity.
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network last week, Rubio said gay marriage advocates are bound to attack the tenets of the Christian faith to justify their cause.
"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," said Rubio, a Republican Party candidate for president in the 2016 election.
"After they [same-sex marriage supporters] 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. That's a real and present danger," Rubio said.
Rubio contended that his Catholic faith is the one driving his policy positions on social issues, including gay marriage. He said he and his family once dabbled in Mormonism and the Baptist church but later felt the call to revert back to Catholicism.
Rubio's view on same-sex marriage appeared to be tied to his views on traditional families.
"The family is the original cell of society," Rubio said. "It is the first and most important government. It is the first church. The family is the singular most important institution in society. It existed before government. It existed before laws."
In a separate interview last month, Rubio said same-sex marriage has "no federal constitutional right." Nevertheless, he said he would be present at a gay wedding of someone dear to him.
Much earlier, Rubio said during a CNN interview that if the Supreme Court grants same-sex marriage in all states, "that would be the law of the land that we would have to follow until it's somehow reversed."
Since then, Rubio appeared to have sided more firmly with those opposed to same-sex marriage.
Though his move may bring him closer to the evangelicals of Iowa and South Carolina, some political pundits said his apparent change of heart could have little effect on his candidacy as it came at a time when the Republicans appeared to be losing hope in winning the battle over gay marriage as more states in the US are joining the bandwagon to legalise same-sex marriages.
Nevertheless, Rubio said he is ready to oppose same-sex marriage not only in the United States but worldwide. "If America doesn't lead, what happens? Well, what happens is chaos," he said.
Regardless of his views on gay marriage and other issues, Rubio said he is leaving everything to God and the American people in choosing the next president of the United States.