By Francisco Alvarado
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
In a 5-4 ruling this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court determined it is a constitutional right for all Americans, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. It’s a monumental victory for gay, lesbian, and transgender couples around the country, but a major blow for conservatives in America and the Republican Party.
Reaction by some former and current elected officials in Florida was swift.
Republican presidential frontrunner and former state governor Jeb Bush tweeted out a statement that fails to acknowledge and accept the ruling as law. Instead, he complained about respecting people’s religious beliefs to discriminate against others:
“Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”
The other top GOP contender from Florida, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who in a May interview said gay marriage supporters are trying to turn Christian teachings into “hate speech,” accepted the high court’s ruling as the law of the land, but also said a new commander-in-chief needs to pick new justices:
“While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law. As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.”
Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, appears to be busy in Hartford, Conn., trying to lure local businesses there to the Sunshine state, according to his twitter feed.
Not all members of the Florida GOP party are against gay marriage.
Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a moderate Republican whose son is transgender, was happy to share her joy with her 71,000 followers on Twitter:
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) June 26, 2015
U.S. Rep Carlos Curbelo, also from Miami, praised the SCOTUS ruling as well:
Today’s Supreme Court decision is a victory for love. #LoveWins
— Rep. Carlos Curbelo (@RepCurbelo) June 26, 2015