Florida Rep. Darryl Rouson Now Supports Gay Marriage
Florida House Democratic Leader-designee Darryl Rouson has changed his stance on gay marriage, throwing his support under the cause.
The Republican-turned-Democrat, who represents Florida’s district 70 in the State Legislature, told The Huffington Post that he has “evolved on the issue.”
“I have been listening to my constituents and to other members of the LGBT community, but the turning point came when I attended an Equality Florida event,” he said following the annual Jefferson-Jackson conference. “ … I will defend love. I will defend people’s right to love who they choose and to be proud of that love.”
Equality Florida is the state’s largest gay rights organization. Rouson said the turning point came after listening to a story of discrimination from a gay colleague.
“His pain was so real … and so unnecessary. Why should anyone be treated differently because of who they love? Because of who they are? I finally got it – this is the civil rights movement of our day,” he said.
In the past, Rouson has been quoted as saying: “I think lesbianism and homosexuality is morally wrong. The law is supposed to discriminate sometimes, in some respects, it is supposed to discriminate against social order and anarchy.”
Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, commended Rep. Rouson for his evolution.
“Representative Rouson has shown time and time again his willingness to listen and have empathy for those harmed by discrimination. His leadership on this issue is in line with the evolving sentiment of Florida voters who now support equal access to marriage for gay couples,” she said in a statement.