A Monroe County circuit court judge recently declared Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Four more cases are pending, including one in Miami-Dade. With the issue front-and-center in the state, activists on both side of the issue have sought the opinion of Central Florida’s most powerful elected official, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Watermark requested an interview with Mayor Jacobs, which has been promised in the near future. This afternoon, Mayor Jacobs released this exclusive statement to Watermark publisher Tom Dyer.
Our country was founded on certain core values, chief among them equality and religious freedom. Therefore, I am glad the question of Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is before the courts to determine if it denies same-sex couples equal rights and protections under the law. Although, as mayor, I have no jurisdiction on this issue, I have read the Miami-Dade lawsuit and believe that a very strong case was made.
Regardless of the decision of the court, I hope that religious institutions will continue to have the freedom to define marriage according to their own doctrines. Protecting the right to practice one’s religion without interference from government is an equally important cornerstone of our free nation.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs