GOP Rep. David Jolly Endorses Marriage Equality Despite Personal Support for ‘Traditional’ Marriage

David JollyRepresentative David Jolly (R-FL) has come out for marriage equality, saying that while he personally believes in “traditional” marriage, he also supports last week’s court ruling overturning Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.  

The Washington Post reports:

“As a matter of my Christian faith, I believe in traditional marriage," said Jolly in a statement to The 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.”

Jolly joins GOP Senators Rob Portman, Mark Kirk, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Richard Hanna, and Charlie Dent in voicing support for marriage equality.  


  1. Moniker says

    Ok so he is supporting same sex marriage AND traditional marriage at the same time? Talking about having it both ways… I want your votes AND your votes…

  2. Jack M says

    At least he is doing it the right way; he is expressing his personal opinions but not letting them get into the way of interfering with the governmental process.

  3. BJ says

    Maybe I’m just in a charitable mood today, but why is it that a politician who states that (s)he believes a particular thing, but recognizes that his job is to uphold the Constitution is having it both ways?
    This is exactly the type of representative I would want to have. One who puts his personal views aside to fully and respectfully represent his constituency.
    If I were in his district, I would consider voting for him. (Of course, I want to know his views on other policies.)

  4. says

    Thanks for the equality endorsement, but it’s called civil marriage, idiot, one thing not separate categories, and it applies equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

    Any religious sanctioning is personal business between a couple and their church, if they have one, and is irrelevant to the discussion of constitutional rights.

  5. jason MacBride says

    We’ve been saying all along that religious teachings should not have anything to do with marriage equality. This Congressman agrees. The bitchy troll queens on Towleroad still give him grief about it.

    Honestly, when are you going to learn to take yes for an answer.

  6. pete n sfo says

    Wow, a reasonable comment and approach from a Xtian GOP politician?! I’m kinda in disbelief.

    Imagine all the pain & heartache & money that could have been saved if ppl had been more reasonable from the very beginning.

  7. DM says

    John Kerry did the same thing with abortion in 2004. He was “personally pro-life” but pro-choice. It’s not atypical in politics but, in this case, I’m not sure which cake he’s having anyway: liberals would think it’s a cop out, conservatives would think it’s a sell out. Maybe it actually is just his personal views.

    Regardless, just be happy that the argument for marriage is pervasive enough that even a conservative who don’t personally believe in marriage equality recognizes it has to be done in the name of protecting freedom.

  8. verbocity eric says

    Yes! he gets it!
    1) there is a difference between civil marriage and “holy matrimony.” It’s what we’ve been saying all along.
    2) equality means equality.

    Kyler: check your link– it was a state court decision.

  9. Matt says

    There is nothing wrong with this guy’s position. He personally believes in man-woman marriage, but as a matter of policy, he acknowledges that the government has to be neutral and treat everyone equally, so he’s putting policy and constitutional principles over personal belief. Yes, it would be nice if he shared our views on marriage personally, but he’s a legislator, not our personal friend, so I think we should be celebrating his position, not calling him an “idiot” or jumping all over him.

  10. Erik says

    Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has also (recently) expressed her support for same-sex marriage; this news item does not include her in the list of Republican Senators (Portman, Kirk, and Murkowski) who have done so.

  11. jason MacBride says

    @Ernie – what part of his reasoning do you take exception to? The part where he distinguishes civil and religious marriages? The part where he thinks it’s fully appropriate for the state to recognize same-sex marriage?

    Or maybe you’re just one of these clowns who is never happy.

  12. Brad says

    It’s not having it both ways. It’s having a personal opinion but realizing it’s not your job to force it on others. This is what we want people!

  13. RonCharles says

    How refreshing to read the intelligent comments here by Jack M, BJ, Pete N SFO, DM, Verbo City Erice, Matt, Critifur, Erik, Jason McBride and Brad. Florida Representative David Jolly’s stance is what gay rights groups have been calling for all along.

  14. says

    “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.”

    Did you all miss that part? In his world, there would be *no* civil marriage, if he had his druthers. We’re getting a backhanded acceptance from him, at best, with this statement.

  15. says

    @Jason: I take exception to the idea that he thinks marriage equality means states are recognizing both “traditional” and “same-sex” marriage, as if there are two distinct categories of marriage. This is incorrect. There aren’t. The only thing the state is involved in is civil marriage, a single institution, and the only question is whether it’s constitutional for states to exclude same-sex couples from this single institution. It isn’t, and he certainly deserves credit for realizing that even if his terminology is flawed.

    “Idiot” was perhaps too strong a word given how many leagues he is above most of his Republican colleagues. Certainly if he were my Rep, I’d thank him for the support and leave it at that.

    As for being a bitchy or unhappy clown, nope, doesn’t describe me. My long history of TR comments can attest to that. Not sure why you’d make that presumption based on a single comment, but, hey, you’re free to think what you like.

  16. Dan Draper says

    I’m missing your point, Cody Reed.

    Since sanctity means “sacredness” or “holiness,” then Representative Jolly is absolutely right. When the state grants a civil marriage license, the government isn’t saying that it’s a holy marriage or a sacred marriage–the state is saying it’s a civil marriage.

    In the eyes of the law, a civil marriage license grants the same rights and responsibilities as any other marriage (whether the ceremony is performed in a church or not).

    The only entity that can deliver a sanctified or “blessed” marriage is a church but it doesn’t mean that Holy Matrimony or the Sanctity of Marriage is any better or worse than a Civil Marriage–they’re just different.

    That’s because a couple who engages in a Holy Matrimonial service at their church isn’t considered legally married until they fulfill the requirements of getting a Civil Marriage license.

    It’s like saying someone’s driver’s license is more or less valid whether they renewed it at the DMV or the AAA.

    But, again, Cody Reed, I may be missing your point.

  17. says

    True, but I’ve also heard the argument from more than a few who would most likely be considered “Blue Dog Dems” (coming from Northern Ohio, that’s the variety one tends to find: Dems with a bit more of a libertarian streak than anything else, likely out of necessity) that the government shouldn’t be sanctifying ANY marriages: that’s what I was taking away from his statement.

    It felt like he was giving us a bit of what we wanted, but it still sounded like he was trying to play both sides off the other. Again, I might be wrong, as well: it’s likely colored by the arguments I hear in this region.

  18. ben~andy says

    Other “states” take a different path than the us. To be legally married, you go to city hall, pay the fees, fill out the paperwork, probably take an oath [which is a vow of a different name].

    You can ALSO or INSTEAD get married in church. The state doesn’t recognize marriages that are ONLY performed in church. Religious people [far fewer than here] do them so as not to “live in sin” but don’t get married at city hall if it would cut their benefits.

    Naturally, they don’t even have to talk about the separation of church and state because their clergy are not signing civil marriage licenses as an agent for the state as ours do.

    All that said, I’m happy to let anyone who has different religious opinions than I have them as long as they don’t deny me rights they are granted. I find the Rep’s opinions quite “jolly.”

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