We here at Hotspots Media Group have been in contact with a number of people and organizations from across the state, requesting comment on today’s Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the country. Here are a sampling of quotes given to Hotspots from LGBT rights activists and the LGBT community’s politician allies across Florida.
Nadine Smith, Executive Director and CEO of Equality Florida: “This is a huge victory for fairness, equality and for families now able to protect their loved ones through marriage. When weddings began all across Florida this past January, it sent a powerful message that the entire country including the South was ready for marriage equality. Now we need to harness all this positive energy to continue our work in Florida, because even in this moment of celebration, no state law protects LGBT people from discrimination, most school districts still ignore bullying, and hate violence continues to target people in our community.”
Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director of Equality Florida: “Equality Florida invested deeply in telling the stories of same-sex couples harmed by marriage discrimination. Our educational efforts helped move opinion in the Sunshine State. In 2008, Florida voters put a ban on same-sex marriage into the state Constitution. Now, just six-and-a-half years later, more than 80 percent of Floridians believe that marriage equality has been good for them or had no negative effects on the state.”
United States Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL): “Today’s ruling reaffirms one of the paramount principles of America that we’re all created equal and have the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”
Alan Grayson, United States Representative (D) (FL-09): “Love has conquered all! The Supreme Court has done the right thing morally and legally in confirming every American’s right to marry whom he or she chooses. This day has been a long time coming, and one that heralds another advance for civil rights in America. I had the honor of serving as the ring-bearer at the first same-sex marriage in Central Florida, and I look forward to celebrating at the weddings of my gay and lesbian friends across the nation.”
Kathy Castor, United States Representative (D) (FL-14): “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that equal rights are fundamental to our American values and our nation can now turn the page on a patchwork of discriminatory state laws that have blocked marriage equality. It is a great day for this historic announcement in Tampa Bay as we kick off our annual LGBT Pride Parade, one of the largest in Florida.
“It is truly a historic step forward – all loving couples who make a lifetime commitment to each other should be recognized no matter where they live, move or travel to throughout the country.
“In my community and throughout my home state of Florida we have fought resolutely for equal rights. It is clear today that those who have opposed marriage equality stand on the wrong side of history and all the hard work in my community, state and throughout the country will not be undone by those in other states standing in the way of progress and equality. “
Patrick Murphy, United States Representative (D) (FL-18): “This is a historic day in our nation’s history. For too long, same-sex couples have been discriminated against because of who they are and who they love. Today, that ends. We are a nation that prides itself on the diversity of our citizens, and I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to give same-sex couples equal marriage rights under the law once and for all.”
Alcee L. Hastings, United States Representative (D) (FL-20): “I applaud today’s Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which extends the right to marry to same-sex couples nationwide. The Court’s decision enforces what the majority of Americans already believe to be true – that same-sex couples deserve the same access to the security and dignity that come along with the institution of marriage. On this momentous day, I join the LGBT community and all of their family and friends in celebrating this enormous step forward for marriage equality.”
United States Representative Ted Deutch, Vice Chair of the House Equality Caucus (D) (FL-21): “As a Vice Chair for the House Equality Caucus, but more importantly as a husband, as a father, and as an American, I am overjoyed by today’s Supreme Court decision, which recognizes the freedom of all Americans to marry and have that marriage recognized by all 50 states. Today will be remembered as a historic leap forward in our nation’s ongoing march for equality and justice for all Americans.
“I am so proud to know that today’s children and future generations of Americans will grow up in a country that recognizes the dignity and equality of every family, and the right of all Americans – regardless of their race or sexual orientation or gender identity – to marry the person they love, wherever they live.
“As we celebrate today’s historic victory, we must recommit ourselves to the ongoing fight for equality under the law for LGBT Americans, who all too often face harsh discrimination in their daily lives. I hope this decision gives Congress new momentum to pass comprehensive civil rights legislation that will protect our LGBT friends, family members, and colleagues from discrimination at work, in school, and in our communities.”
United States Representative Lois Frankel (D) (FL-22): “Today, the Supreme Court has made a monumental, joyous decision for freedom and equality in ruling that all states must recognize same-sex marriage. Love won!”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic National Committee chairwoman and United States Representative (FL-23): “Today, our nation has taken a monumental step towards freedom and equality for all. The Supreme Court’s affirmation of same-sex couples’ Constitutional right to marry is a long overdue step that codifies a universal truth: love is love, and love should carry the same legal weight in every corner of this nation.
“Moving forward, married Americans will be treated equally no matter where in our nation they travel, by every level of their government.
“For our brothers and sisters who left us too soon, this ruling is many years late – but for all future generations, this ruling consecrates the bonds of marriage between all Americans, no matter who they love. We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the countless advocates, plaintiffs, lawyers, judges, men and women who displayed courage and bravery over this long pursuit of marriage equality. Thanks to their sacrifices and hard work, today is a day of celebration – a dawning of a new day for LGBT Americans and indeed, this entire nation.
“While our work towards full equality for LGBT Americans remains unfinished, today is a step towards a better tomorrow that is more loving, equal, and free.”
United States Representative Frederica Wilson (D) (FL-24): “In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on another landmark case, Loving v. Virginia, that enabled blacks and whites to legally enter into marriage. The world has evolved even more in the ensuing decades, which the court recognized today in its 5 to 4 decision that requires all states to perform same-sex marriages and to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
“I am proud to live in an America in which gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people have the freedom and fundamental right to marry the man or woman they have chosen to love.”
United States Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) (FL-27): “Our nation was founded on the basis of equal rights and today, the Supreme Court’s decision reflected our values. The ability to marry is now a right all Americans have and we no longer must wonder why one class of people has been singled out under the law. Simply put, and the majority of Americans would agree, the union of two people in marriage should not be based on gender, but on love.”