Monday, July 21, 2014

Rep. David Jolly (FL-13) Becomes 8th Republican To Endorse Marriage Equality

Congressman David Jolly, Republican of Florida, became just the 8th member of his party currently serving in Congress to endorse marriage equality today. Just like Congressman Charlie Den of Pennsylvania did this past May, Rep. Jolly announced his position in light of a recent ruling striking down his state's ban on marriage equality.

Last week, a state judge struck down Florida's state constitutional ban on marriage equality. (Since it was just a state judge, and only applied in one county, I didn't even cover the news here at No same-sex couples were able to get married as a result of the decision.

However, the more interesting political fallout of last week's marriage ruling was that Rep. Jolly (who recently won a special election to be the newest member of Congress a few months ago) was asked about his position on marriage equality and answered thusly:
“As a matter of my Christian faith, I believe in traditional marriage," said Jolly in a statement to The Post. "But as a matter of Constitutional principle I believe in a form of limited government that protects personal liberty. To me, that means that the sanctity of one’s marriage should be defined by their faith and by their church, not by their state. Accordingly, I believe it is fully appropriate for a state to recognize both traditional marriage as well as same-sex marriage, and therefore I support the recent decision by a Monroe County Circuit Judge.”
Peculiarly, even though there are just 4 members of Congress who have endorsed marriage equality, half of them are in the Senate. Just a few weeks ago Senator Susan Collins announced she is in favor of marriage equality (which her state has had since 2012). Jolly joins his fellow Floridian Republican Congressmember Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in supporting marriage equality, which is significant since all the other House Republicans who support marriage equality represent states which already have marriage equality, something Florida does not. Yet.

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