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Orlando – On the heels of a Monroe County decision declaring Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, and with four more court cases pending in the state, elected officials are weighing in on the issue, and not from the expected group of leaders. Republican Orange County Commissioners Scott Boyd and Pete Clarke both expressed support for marriage equality earlier this week.

“I am personally supportive, and look forward to the continued advancement of equal rights, respect and freedoms for all individuals under the law,” said Boyd in response to a query from activist Randy Ross.
And Clarke tweeted a response to an Orlando editorial advocating for marriage equality: “The words life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness come to mind.”

Commissioner Tiffany Moore Russell, a Democrat, also framed the issue as one of civil rights.

“I support the efforts and look forward to the progress of equal rights, liberties and freedoms for all citizens,” Moore said, also in response to Ross’s inquiry.

Last month, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer sought permission from the City Council to file a friend-of-the-court brief in pending court cases supporting marriage equality. Commissioners voted 5-2 in favor, with only the council’s two Republicans, Jim Gray and Tony Ortiz, opposed.

In a 2010 interview with Watermark, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs expressed her opposition to full marriage rights for same-sex couples. Some activists are hopeful that her opinion, like that of many politicians, has changed since then. Watermark has requested an interview.

Circuit Court Luis Garcia’s ruling allows same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in Monroe County. But at the request of Attorney General Pam Bondi that ruling was stayed pending appeal.

From our media partner Watermark