NEWS RELEASE: SENATOR BILL NELSON ENDORSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY
[April 4, 2013] Equality Florida is please to announce that Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D) has changed his position on equal access to marriage today in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times:
“... that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I believe that. The civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all,” Senator Nelson stated in his statement to the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board. “Thus, to discriminate against one class and not another is wrong for me.If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn't those be attainable by Gays and Lesbians? Simply put, if The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn't, and I won't. So I will add my name to the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional.”
Equality Florida pressured Senator Nelson, who was 1 of just 7 remaining Democratic Senators to support marriage equality, with thousands of tweets, calls and emails from their membership throughout the week.
“I am thrilled that Bill Nelson listened to the voices of Floridians and to his own conscience,” commented Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida. “The Senator has an admirable record on so many issues that this blind spot stood out as incongruous to the principles he has espoused for years. His voice matters a great deal and his evolution on equality is a roadmap for others to understand that it is wrong to inflict financial burdens and to impose the indignity of second class citizenship on our families.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.