Urging him to apologize for his support of same-sex marriage, several dozen social conservatives in Florida have penned a letter to U.S. Rep. David Jolly (R-FL), according to the Washington Post on Wednesday.
Less than five months after he beat former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink in a special election, Jolly has publically endorsed same-sex marriage despite being a member of the Republican Party - a political party that has steadfastly been opposed to anything but traditional marriage.
Applauding the ruling by a Florida judge who struck down the state constitutional amendment passed by voters recognizing only traditional marriage, Congressman Jolly was thought to have supported Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. Jolly has now “clarified” his position indicating that while he personally believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman, the State of Florida should allow same-sex marriages.
“As a matter of my Christian faith, I believe in traditional marriage," Jolly told the Washington 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.”
Many of the freshman Congressman’s supporters are "profoundly disappointed" and have called on the Indian Shores Republican to apologize.
An open letter written to the Congressman:
Dear Congressman Jolly,
We recently learned of the complete reversal of your position on homosexual marriage from the Washington Post. Please know how profoundly disappointed we are in this decision.
So many of us worked, walked, called, gave money and voted to help you get elected and defeat the liberal Democrat Alex Sink because you personally assured us that you were a conservative Republican who believed that marriage was between one man and one woman.
In church after church, you publicly stated your support for the policy behind Florida’s law and Florida’s constitution which clearly defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, as over 30 other states have done.
Just months ago, you told us that you supported a “state’s right” to define marriage which is consistent with the holding of the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case of U.S. vs. Windsor -- yet now you are completely failing to support your own state’s law and the constitutional mandate passed by five million Floridians.
You ran for office in Florida’s Congressional District 13, which is completely contained within Pinellas County where 54.3% of the voters voted in favor of marriage being between one man and one woman in 2008.
You ran for Congress as a member of the Republican Party with a platform clearly affirming that “marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard” and now you have turned your back on this standard.
By agreeing with the judge’s recent ruling in Monroe County, you promote the fiction that Florida’s marriage laws have been declared unconstitutional by some legitimate authority. The Federal Courts have clearly not given their final word on this matter and the ruling is being appealed by Florida’s Attorney General.
Even worse, when you agree with this lower court’s opinion, you also agree with his irresponsible claim that citizens in your district who passed the marriage amendment were motivated by “animus” or hatred toward gay-identified persons. Nothing could be further from the truth or more morally repugnant to us, as we all affirm the inherent dignity and value of every human being.
We reject your illusory and false dichotomy between your “personal views” and “public views” as a legislator as you made no such distinction during your campaign. Liberals for years have made the same arguments to deceptively triangulate on other moral issues.
You make much of talking about the government having no place protecting the “sanctity of marriage,” which misses the point and is an argument no one is making.
Your statements in the Washington Post are not those of a serious-minded and thoughtful legislator who understands the state’s compelling interest in the economic and social implications inherent within the institutions of marriage and family.
We are profoundly disappointed in this announcement and now we can only wonder what other issues you might change your views on. Please know that we consider your reversal on this critical issue to be an act of cowardice and a betrayal to the very persons that worked extremely hard to get you elected to office.
We call upon you to publicly apologize for this mistake and hold fast to your original position that states should define marriage as it has always been, the union of one man and one woman only. We also challenge you to not cower to the pressure, demands and intimidation of homosexual activists. Finally, we exhort you to be governed not by polls, politics and profits but instead to be governed by principle and what is in the best interest of children, families and the common good of society. Your future as the Congressman representing us in Florida’s District 13 is counting on it.
Respectfully, your campaign volunteers, financial supporters and constituents:
Regina Brown, Florida Family Action
Rex Brown, Contractor, Largo
Mark Phillips, Florida Family Action, Dunedin
John Burgess, Retired, St. Pete
Betsy Burgess, Retited, St. Pete
Rev. Glenn Pav, Largo
Nancy Davis, Retired, Seminole
Pastor Randy Morris, Seminole
Tom Beckwith, Business Owner
Liddora Beckwith, Seminole
Pastor Anthony McDaniel
Kendra McDaniel, Clearwater
Pastor Duran Carder
Shannon Carder, Largo
Tina Neuhauser, Largo
Anthony Neuhauser, Largo
Rev. David Tristani, St. Pete
Pastor Kyle Mills, Largo
Pastor Garrett Mills, Clearwater
Pastor Anel Avila
Emily Avila, St Pete
Emily Gibson Walker
Joel Walker, Largo
Laura Works, Largo
Darl Works, Largo
Joanne Neuhauser, Largo
Delane Bacon, Largo
Misty Oudshoff, Clearwater
Dyan Cuprisin, Largo
Mark Kober, Largo
Paula Dorzuk, Largo
Jackie Free, Largo
Candis Flores, Largo
Pam Cortese, Largo
Jen Delana, Largo
Leah Utegaard, Largo
“Smart move for Congressman Jolly now that he has been assured a full term in office,” Remington Longstreth, an abstract painter and professional photographer, told Examiner. “Come the 2016 election, no one will remember his position today.”
Jolly joins fellow Republican Senators Rob Portman, Mark Kirk, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins in addition to Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Richard Hanna and Charlie Dent in voicing support for marriage equality.
Congressman Jolly and his wife of 15 years were divorced in January, just two days after winning the Republican nomination following the death of U.S. Representative Bill Young. He thereafter defeated former CFO Alex Sink in a March special election.
“Reminiscent of the ‘Hope’ and ‘Change We Can Believe In,' promised by President Barack Obama in 2008, Congressman David Jolly is quickly proving to be his own man,” former Broward County Republican Chairman Rico Petrocelli, told Examiner. “As a freshman Representative, Jolly is certainly building a reputation for himself.”
The freshman Republican from Indian Shores faces no primary challenger and only a Libertarian challenger in the November general election.
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