GOP Rep. David Jolly (Fla.) announced his support of gay marriage Monday in a statement to the Washington Post.
While Jolly said he personally believes in traditional marriage because of his Christian faith, he thinks the government should support both traditional and same-sex marriages. He also noted his support of Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia's decision to order the county's officials to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples last week.
"But as a matter of Constitutional principle I believe in a form of limited government that protects personal liberty," Jolly said. "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."
Garcia initially ruled marriage licenses could be issued in Monroe County beginning Tuesday to gay couples. But that was blocked by an automatic stay triggered when Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately filed notice that the state will appeal.
Bondi's office filed papers later Monday urging Garcia to keep the stay in place and preserve the status quo until all appeals are sorted out and Garcia agreed. That means no gay marriages can take place while Garcia's original ruling is reviewed by the Miami-based 3rd District Court of Appeal, which could take weeks or months to issue a decision.
Jolly, who won the special election to fill the seat left vacant by the late Rep. Bill Young in March, is the eighth current Republican member of Congress to support gay marriage, according to the Washington Post.