In a swing district in South Florida, a freshman congressman and his Democratic challenger expressed support on Friday for the Supreme Court’s decision making same-sex marriage the law of the land.
U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., will be a top Democratic target in 2016 and the freshman congressman was one of a handful of congressional Republicans to applaud the decision. Along with U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who has been a key ally to his 2014 and 2016 efforts, Curbelo was one of the rare Florida Republicans who backed the ruling.
“I am pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality,” Curbelo said on Friday. “This decision illustrates a significant shift towards creating a more accepting and understanding future. This decision is a celebration of freedom and reaffirms the very rights in which our nation was founded.”
Curbelo insisted conservatives could support same-sex marriage.
“Earlier this year, I joined over 300 Republican leaders to sign an amicus brief arguing that the freedom to marry is a conservative value,” Curbelo said. “The government should not impose any definition of marriage on an individual, family, or church. By permitting same-sex marriage, we are finally giving these individuals who have faced years of unfair prejudices the opportunity to experience the same treatment as other American couples.
“I applaud the Supreme Court’s ruling, and send my sincerest congratulations to all those who will finally enjoy the same legal rights as their peers,” Curbelo said in conclusion.
Following her unsuccessful effort as former Gov. Charlie Crist’s running mate in the gubernatorial race last year, former Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chairwoman Annette Taddeo launched a run against Curbelo despite not living in the district.
Calling the 5-4 vote a “sweeping ruling," Taddeo held her fire on Curbelo on Friday, even as her campaign urged supporters to sign their congratulations to LGBT Americans.
“Earlier today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples are legally allowed to marry,” Taddeo emailed supporters on Friday. “We stood together in the face of opposition and now ... we have a huge moment to celebrate. I am proud to have stood with LGBT Americans throughout this struggle, but today I am most proud that my daughter, Sofia, will grow up in a country where marriage equality is the law of the land.”
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