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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL., helps raise money for anti-gay group; says nation's morality at risk

BY BRENDAN FARRINGTON
AP POLITICAL WRITER

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Sen. Marco Rubio told an anti-gay group Saturday night that moral issues need to be part of government debate and that the United States needs to do more to protect religious freedom abroad.

"The moral well-being of our nation is our business. It's everybody's business," Rubio said to applause at the Florida Family Policy Council fundraising dinner. "The debate we should be having isn't whether or not we have a right to talk about values and morals in the public square, the debate we should be having instead is which values and morals our nation should focus on."

The dinner was raising money for the group that led the petition drive to put a gay marriage ban on the state ballot. The constitutional amendment was approved by voters in 2008. Videos shown before and after Rubio spoke showed its president, John Stemberger, speaking against gay marriage, gay scout masters and allowing people who have had sex changes to teach in schools.

The appearance came a little more than a week after Rubio voted against a bill that would have outlawed workplace discrimination against gays.

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