"I'm very grateful to him [Flores], and I hope that we can continue to echo the sentiments of the conference of bishops because I truly believe that they represent what's right for our society," he said.
Lucio says that growing up in Texas, he experienced racial discrimination first-hand.
When he arrived at a South Texas university in the 1960s, Lucio said he sat at the front of the classroom in his first-period class. The professor told him "very abruptly, and in kind of a loud voice" to stand to the side.
"What he said after that, I'll never forget," Lucio said. The professor instructed Mexican students to sit at the back of the classroom, while telling "black athletes" to sit in the middle, and white students to sit in the front of the classroom.
In another instance in southeast Texas, Lucio said he was told by a motel there was no vacancy despite an empty parking lot outside. "So I figured it out, that it was because of me that we weren't going to get any rooms there," he said.
This experience, he said, has prompted him to fight against discrimination of anyone. And this also entails learning to respect areas of genuine disagreement on policy, without resorting to name-calling as Planned Parenthood did.
"I don't want anyone, regardless of color, regardless of religious preference, regardless of our differences-we're human beings and we certainly deserve to be treated equally," he said. "But," he continued, "we also have to respect religious freedom, we have to respect things that sometimes, people don't want to."
Lucio says that the "biggest issue," for him, is the issue of protecting human life- at all stages. "I support life from conception until natural death," he said, which puts him at odds with both political parties.
"Democrats will support a woman's right to an abortion," he lamented, "but if the baby's born, will throw themselves in the fire to see that they get education, health care, everything else that goes with it," he said. "And then they're against the death penalty, most of them," Lucio said.
"Republicans," he said, "are pro-life, which I'm very happy about, but sometimes there are some Republicans that we find are so hard, and so far to the right, that they don't want to vote to expand Medicaid or to add more dollars to education or health care when it's needed in our state."
"And they're for the death penalty," the senator lamented.
(Story continues below)
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Speaking of his efforts to put faith before party, Lucio said: "I try to be different, and I am different in a sense," he said.