Republican support for the freedom to marry continues to grow
People from across the state join Equality Florida’s social media campaign
As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments on marriage for same-sex couples next week, Florida Republicans are speaking out in favor of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry.
Florida Republicans for the Freedom to Marry was formed by Equality Florida to spotlight the strong and growing bipartisan backing for marriage. The effort has already gained over 150 grassroots Republican supporters and the support of several elected officials and party leaders as well.
Participants cite their traditional conservative values of respecting individual liberty and supporting strong families as some of the reasons they support marriage equality.
"Government needs to stop telling its citizens how to live their private lives. There is no reason why our government should be deciding who can and can not get married,” said Nelson D. Diaz, chairman of the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County.
Statements from more than a dozen prominent Florida Republicans, including two members of Congress and other elected officials, can be found here.
In partnership with Freedom to Marry, a national organization, Equality Florida is launching a social media campaign this week to build additional awareness and support. Republicans who want to add their voices to the campaign can do so here.
Democrats have historically been on the forefront of advocating for LGBT rights, but human rights are a bi-partisan issue, said Nadine Smith, chief executive officer of Equality Florida.
“People from all walks of life, of every political persuasion, have come to recognize that non-discrimination and human dignity are core values we all can support,” she said.
“Florida has embraced the freedom to marry. Since marriage equality came to Florida in January, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support.”
A recent poll by Public Policy Research found that, two months after same-sex marriages began in the state, more than 80 percent of Floridians said that marriage equality had a positive impact on their lives or no impact at all.
Earlier this month, UCLA’s Williams Institute released a report showing that support for marriage equality grows much more quickly in states that allow same-sex marriage than in those that do not.
“Once the freedom to marry comes to a state, people see families helped and no one hurt, and support surges,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on April 28 on whether every state must allow same-sex couples to marry.
“As the Supreme Court considers its ruling,” said Equality Florida’s Smith, “they will know that America is ready to support the freedom to marry.”
Equality Florida Institute is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. www.eqfl.org