Lucas Overby responds to Jolly’s support of marriage rulings

By : Steve Blanchard
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Clearwater When Rep. David Jolly shared with the Washington Post that he supports rulings out of South Florida declaring the state’s marriage ban unconstitutional, Libertarian Lucas Overby expressed support, and confusion.

In an exclusive interview July 30 with Watermark and, the Congressional District 13 candidate said he welcomes Jolly to the conversation on equal rights for all people.

“I applaud him for that and if he is indeed the eighth elected Republican to be in favor of equal treatment, that’s great,” Overby said. “We need every ally we can get and I’m not going to turn anyone down, even if he is my opponent.”

In July, Jolly told the Washington Post that while he personally believes marriage is between one man and one woman, he things governments should allow same-sex couples to wed.

“As a matter of my Christian faith, I believe in traditional marriage,” Jolly said. “But as a matter of Constitutional principle I believe in a form of limited government that protects personal liberty. To me, that means that the sanctity of one’s marriage should be defined by their faith and by their church, not by their state.

“Accordingly, I believe it is fully appropriate for a state to recognize both traditional marriage as well as same-sex marriage, and therefore I support the recent decision by a Monroe County Circuit Judge.”

The fact that Jolly made it a state’s right issue baffles Overby, however.

“This is being found unconstitutional by the 14th amendment, which says the states can’t make laws that take rights away from its people,” the 28-year-old said. “To say this is a states’ rights issue is wrong. I personally am confused by his statement.

Jolly was praised by those who support marriage equality, and criticized by a conservative base, which wrote him an open letter declaring he had “betrayed” those who voted for him and demanded an apology for switching his views. It’s Jolly’s response to that letter—which focuses again on his personal vs. constitutional views—that makes Overby uncomfortable.

“Either you do or you don’t support protecting people under the law,” Overy said. “I’ve never seen anyone take that many words to say they think that people should be treated equally. Just make a real statement. Do you support equal protection across the board, yes or no?”

Overby is relieved that he and Jolly can now focus on more pressing issues for Pinellas County—like insurance issues, medical rights and blood donations.

“Since marriage is so close, I have strong faith that in the next two years the federal government will make a statement on that,” Overby said. “If I’m not in Washington and my opponent is, I hope to God he fights for federal protections to support all people regardless of who they are.”

Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a special election held in March following the death of C.W. Bill Young, who held the congressional post for 42 years. Overby was also part of that election, and earned 5% of the vote.

He will face Jolly in the Nov. 6 election.

Hear the full interview with Jolly.

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