Political license: Rubio on “family”


Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, in speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Friday, September 25, said this:

“What we need is a president who in their first day in office will put the left hand on the bible and the right hand in the air and promise to uphold the entire constitution, including the right of religious liberty. …You cannot have a strong people without strong families. [The Obama administration] has tried to redefine the family. It’s persecuted and now even prosecuted those who do not agree with the new direction that those seek to take us. It has punished marriage, the foundation of family life, by taxing married couples more than singles.”

FACT CHECK: The Obama administration has redefined the term “family” in a number of federal regulations. Before same-sex couples had the option to marry in all states, the Department of Labor announced that the definition of “son or daughter” under the Family and Medical Leave Act would include a non-biological child if the employee had assumed a parental role of caring for the child. The U.S. Customs agency expanded the definition of family members to include couples in committed relationships and children of same-sex parents.

Rubio did not identify who he thinks the Obama administration has “persecuted or prosecuted” for disagreeing with the expanded definitions of family. Presumably, it was a reference to Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bans on such licenses is unconstitutional. A federal court judge –not the Obama administration—found Davis in contempt of court for her refusal to comply with the law.

As for the current “marriage penalty,” according to the Tax Policy Center, the “marriage penalty” was created with the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1969. That’s when Republican President Richard Nixon was in office.

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