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Religious Tolerance logo

Florida: Recognition of same-sex marriages (SSMs)

Part 23: 2015-JAN:
Anti-SSM group to fight marriage equality.
Senator Marco Rubio (R) criticizes SSM.
Florida poll approves of SSM.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay

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2015-JAN-07: Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) vows to terminate marriage equality:

Bill Logan of ABC Action News discusses the Council's plans to have Florida revert to marriage inequality:


At the end of the video, Logan quotes the director of FFPC as saying that:

"The basic social order of marriage must be returned because this breakdown is costing Floridians over 1 billion dollars a year." 1

Webmaster's comment:

On the evening of JAN-07, I posted a personal message on the FFPC web site stating:

"Bill Logan of ABC Action News quoted the FFPC director as saying that marriage equality in Florida will cost the state over a billion dollars a year.

Yet an analysis by the Williams Institute at the University of Southern California School of Law estimates that 24,248 same-sex couples will marry in Florida during the next three years. This will add an estimated $182.2 million to the Florida economy as well as $12.1 million in sales tax revenue. They estimate that 875 to 2,626 jobs in the tourism and recreation sector would be generated. 2

Somebody is wrong by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.. Where does the truth lie?" 3

The FFPC web site responded with the usual message stating that "Your comment is awaiting moderation."

I wondered if it would ever see the light of day. My success rate is quite low on postings at web sites belonging to conservative faith groups. I was not surprised. A check on JAN-10 found no trace of the posting.

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2015-JAN-07: Senator Marco Rubio (R) also criticizes the arrival of marriage equality to his home state of Florida:

Former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush (R), recently criticized marriage equality to Florida. Two days later, Senator Marco Rubio (R) made a similar remark. Many commentators believe that both Bush and Rubio are considering seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. President in 2016.

Senator Rubio noted that Floridians passed a constitutional amendment in 2008 to ban same-sex marriage by a vote of 62% to 38%. He believes that when supporters of marriage equality attempted to legalize marriage for same-sex couples, they should have sought the repeal of the amendment through the ballot box or state legislature rather than filing lawsuits in state and federal courts. He believes that, in fact, courts do not have the authority to declare a state constitutional amendment void. He said of marriage equality supporters:

"If they wanted to change that law, they should have gone to the legislature or back to the [state] Constitution and try to change it. I don’t agree we should be trying to make those changes through the courts. ... While I believe that marriage should be [restricted to] between one man and one woman, while people want to change that law — and a lot of people apparently do — there is a way to do that. You go through the legislature, or you go on on the ballot, but I don’t agree the courts have the power to do this." 4 [Highlighting not in the original]

He also said:

"I do not believe that there is a U.S. Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. I don’t believe it’s unconstitutional. I just don’t believe there’s a constitutional right to it.

"States have always defined marriage in the laws and if a state wants to change its marriage laws, it should do so by petitioning their elected representatives in the legislature, and in the case of Florida, by placing on the ballot a question on the issue. I'm against it. I don't agree with it. But we're in a democracy and people can debate those issues and ultimately it will be decided through that process." 5

Many Republicans believe that an amendment to the state constitution as passed by voters is the highest law of the land. Further they believe that even if a federal court declares the state amendment to be unconstitutional because it violates the U.S. Constitutional, the ban stands because the courts do not have the authority to overturn a decision of the voters. These Republicans join with many other political conservatives and assert that the United States is a pure democracy in which the vote of the people carries the ultimate power. In contrast, most Democrats, other political liberals, and constitutional specialists believe that the United States is a constitutional democracy in which the federal Constitution holds the ultimate power. Dozens of state and federal courts since late 2003 have ruled that because state bans on same-sex marriage violate the Due Process and/or the Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, that the bans are null and void.

The conflict between the two concepts of the United States could be easily settled through dialogue. But none appears to be taking place. And so the two political parties generally take opposite positions on the federal Constitution. There appears to be no political will to resolve the conflict.

Surprisingly, both of these conflicting beliefs appear true:

  • The belief by liberals that the U.S. Constitution is the ultimate authority is correct. The proof is included in the wording of the federal Constitution.

  • The belief by conservatives that the vote of the public rules is correct, because the public, through their state legislators, could modify the 14th Amendment of the federal Constitution to make same-sex marriage bans constitutional. However, this would be a long process which is rarely successful.

Also on JAN-07, CNN asked Senator Rubio what his opinion would be if the U.S. Supreme Court legalized marriage to same-sex couples. He replied that Americans would have to abide by that ruling. He said:

"I wouldn't agree with their ruling, but that would be the law of the land that we would have to follow until it's somehow reversed — either by a future Supreme Court, or [by] a U.S. constitutional amendment, which I don't think is realistic or foreseeable." 6

Alexandra Jaffe, writing for CNN, said:

"The controversy surrounding the issue underscores the tension inherent in the Republican Party's efforts to expand outreach beyond the GOP's traditional base of social conservatives, as the nation as a whole moves towards widespread acceptance of gay marriage and more state legislatures overturn gay marriage bans.

It's likely to become a hot-button issue in the GOP presidential primary as contenders jockey to differentiate themselves in what's expected to be a wide-open field." 6

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2015-JAN: Recent polls on same-sex marriage in Florida:

  • As of JAN-08, First Coast News continues to conduct an Internet poll on this question. Results as of JAN-08 favor same-sex marriage by a wide margin. The results almost an exact reversal to the vote for the state Constitutional Amendment of 2008 when 62% voted on election day in favor of a ban on marriage equality. First Coast News' results are:
    • 62.0% support same-sex marriage.
    • 36.0% oppose same-sex marriage
    • 2.0% are indifferent.

However, these results are almost certainly not particularly accurate because the people taking part in the poll are self selected and may not be representative of the general Florida population.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above menu. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Bill Logan, "Florida Family Policy Council vows to continue fight against same-sex marriages," ABC Action News, 2015-JAN-07, at: http://www.abcactionnews.com/
  2. "Estimating the economic boost of marriage for same-sex couples in Florida," Williams Institute, 2014-AUG, at: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/
  3. Sarah Fowler, "Breaking News: Florida Family Action Files Lawsuits Against Local Elected Officials," Florida Family Policy Council, 2014-DEC-30, at: http://flfamily.org/
  4. Manu Raju, "Sen. Marco Rubio laments court rulings on same-sex marriage," Politico, 2015-JAN-07, at: http://www.politico.com/
  5. Alex Leary, "Bondi should continue fight against gay marriage in Florida," Tampa Bay Times, 2015-JAN-07, at:http://www.tampabay.com/
  6. Alexandra Jaffe, "Marco Rubio: 'We're going to abide' by gay marriage rulings," CNN, 2015-JAN-08, at: http://www.cnn.com/

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Site navigation: Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > Menu > Florida > here

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Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2015-JAN-05
Latest update: 2015-OCT-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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