Open Letter to Florida Congressman: Reversal on Marriage Is 'Act of Cowardice and a Betrayal'

David Jolly
Florida Congressman David Jolly (Facebook)

Dear Congressman David Jolly,

We recently learned of the complete reversal of your position on homosexual marriage from The Washington Post. Please know how profoundly disappointed we are in this decision. 

So many of us worked, walked, called, gave money and voted to help you get elected and defeat the liberal Democrat Alex Sink because you personally assured us that you were a conservative Republican who believed that marriage was between one man and one woman. 

In church after church, you publicly stated your support for the policy behind Florida's law and Florida's constitution, which clearly define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, as more than 30 other states have done. 

Just months ago, you told us that you supported a "state's right" to define marriage, which is consistent with the holding of the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case of U.S. vs. Windsor. Yet now you are completely failing to support your own state's law and the constitutional mandate passed by 5 million Floridians.

You ran for office in Florida's Congressional District 13, which is completely contained within Pinellas County, where 54.3 percent of the voters voted in favor of marriage being between one man and one woman in 2008.

You ran for Congress as a member of the Republican Party with a platform clearly affirming that "marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard," and now you have turned your back on this standard. 

By agreeing with the judge's recent ruling in Monroe County, you promote the fiction that Florida's marriage laws have been declared unconstitutional by some legitimate authority. The federal courts have clearly not given their final word on this matter, and the ruling is being appealed by Florida's attorney general. 

Even worse, when you agree with this lower court's opinion, you also agree with his irresponsible claim that citizens in your district who passed the marriage amendment were motivated by "animus" or hatred toward gay-identified persons. Nothing could be further from the truth or more morally repugnant to us, as we all affirm the inherent dignity and value of every human being. 

We reject your illusory and false dichotomy between your "personal views" and "public views" as a legislator, as you made no such distinction during your campaign. Liberals for years have made the same arguments to deceptively triangulate on other moral issues. 

You make much of talking about the government having no place protecting the "sanctity of marriage," which misses the point and is an argument no one is making.  

Your statements in The Washington Post are not those of a serious-minded and thoughtful legislator who understands the state's compelling interest in the economic and social implications inherent within the institutions of marriage and family.

We are profoundly disappointed in this announcement and now we can only wonder what other issues you might change your views on. Please know that we consider your reversal on this critical issue to be an act of cowardice and a betrayal to the very persons who worked extremely hard to get you elected to office. 

We call upon you to publicly apologize for this mistake and hold fast to your original position that states should define marriage as it has always been, the union of one man and one woman only. We also challenge you to not cower to the pressure, demands and intimidation of homosexual activists.  

Finally, we exhort you to be governed not by polls, politics and profits but instead to be governed by principle and what is in the best interest of children, families and the common good of society.  Your future as the Congressman representing us in Florida's District 13 is counting on it.

Respectfully, your campaign volunteers, financial supporters and constituents:

Regina Brown, Florida Family Action

Rex Brown, Contractor, Largo

Mark Phillips, Florida Family Action, Dunedin

John Burgess, Retired, St. Pete

Betsy Burgess, Retired, St. Pete

Rev. Glenn Pav, Largo

Nancy Davis, Retired, Seminole

Pastor Randy Morris, Seminole

Tom Beckwith, Business Owner

Liddora Beckwith, Seminole

Pastor Anthony McDaniel

Kendra McDaniel, Clearwater

Pastor Duran Carder

Shannon Carder, Largo

Tina Neuhauser, Largo

Anthony Neuhauser, Largo

Rev. David Tristani, St. Pete

Pastor Kyle Mills, Largo

Pastor Garrett Mills, Clearwater

Pastor Anel Avila

Emily Avila, St Pete

Emily Gibson Walker

Joel Walker, Largo

Laura Works, Largo

Darl Works, Largo

Joanne Neuhauser, Largo

Bruce Bacon

Delane Bacon, Largo

Bronson Oudshoff

Misty Oudshoff, Clearwater

Gery Cuprisin

Dyan Cuprisin, Largo

Mark Kober, Largo

Paula Dorzuk, Largo

James Free

Jackie Free, Largo

Candis Flores, Largo

Joe Cortese

Pam Cortese, Largo

Mike Delana

Jen Delana, Largo

Anthony Utegaard

Leah Utegaard, Largo

Kimberly Joly, Largo

Judith Goldsberry, Clearwater

Stephanie McCaffery, Largo

Randy Carter

Donna Carter, Largo

Markas Bell, Tampa

Douglas Hill

Jennifer Hill, Dunedin

Stew Bottorf

Jean Bottorf, Dunedin

Pastor Curtis Swan, Dunedin

Ronald Curvello

Kristin Curvello, Dunedin

Alexa McDaniel, Largo

Alivia McDaniel

Ann Kennedy, Dunedin

Irene Desouza, Dunedin

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