Sunday, June 24, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Jolly's thoughtful stance on gay marriage

U.S. Rep. David Jolly has offered a thoughtful explanation of his reasonable position on gay marriage that could be a model for other Florida Republicans. At risk of upsetting some of his own supporters, he believes government should recognize same-sex marriages and says that does not conflict with his personal religious views or his belief in limited government. That coherent philosophy should be embraced by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Rick Scott and Jolly's other colleagues who continue to cling to a rigid, discriminatory position that is being rejected by the courts.

Jolly, R-Indian Shores, told the Washington Post this week that "as a matter of my Christian faith, I believe in traditional marriage. 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 their church, not by their state.'' He said he supported last week's decision by a Monroe County circuit judge that Florida's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due process clauses.

That puts Jolly at odds with Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, who are fighting a losing legal battle in appealing the decision. It lands him among at least seven other Republicans in Congress — four senators and three House members — who publicly support legalizing gay marriage. And it predictably drew criticism from opponents of gay marriage who supported Jolly in his special election victory earlier this year.

In a long explanation to his constituents, Jolly recounts his religious faith and how he and his church define marriage as between a man and a woman. Then he neatly describes his commitment to federalism and limited government, concluding that the U.S. Constitution that protects his freedom to practice his religion also protects the personal rights of same-sex couples to have their marriages recognized by government. Jolly makes a particular point that same-sex marriage and civil unions should not be viewed as a threat to "those of us in the Christian faith community who believe in traditional marriage."

Jolly's expansive, candid explanation differs from the approach by Scott and Bondi, who hide behind poorly worded legal briefs and avoid publicly discussing their opposition to same-sex marriage. It also stands in stark contrast to the incoherent ramblings by Rubio, who continues to improperly mix his religious views with discriminatory government bans as he defends prohibitions on same-sex marriage. His claim that calling out his intolerance amounts to intolerance of his religious views is nothing of the sort.

Jolly recognizes the difference between religious beliefs and government-sanctioned discrimination. He probably also sees that the courts, public opinion and the political winds are trending toward tolerance, fairness and legally recognizing same-sex marriages. Rubio, Scott and Bondi have yet to see the light. It will be up to the courts and the voters to help them along.

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Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Itís hard to pick the biggest outrage in the financial and ethical swamp that has swallowed Tampa Bayís two primary job placement agencies, CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay. Is it the boiler room atmosphere where CareerSource recruite...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Family separation crisis is not over

The family-separation crisis that President Donald Trump created is not over. The executive order Trump signed Wednesday purporting to end the routine tearing of children from their undocumented parents stands on uncertain legal ground. U.S. border a...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Veterans can help veterans deal with trauma resulting from military service in a way no one else can. Thatís the theory behind a special hotline set up in the Tampa Bay area that proponents are hoping to take statewide.The expansion would cost some $...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

It turns out the U.S. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the economic realities of the 21st century than Congress or the Florida Legislature. The court ruled Thursday that states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes even if the retail...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

The shocking scenes of immigrant children crying after being taken from their parents at the border exposed a new level of cruelty by the Trump administration, and though the president reversed course Wednesday, Congress needs to end the shameful pra...
Published: 06/21/18
Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Good job, Jeff Sessions! It seems the attorney generalís misguided attempts to revive the unpopular and unjust federal war on marijuana may be having the exact opposite effect ó prompting a new bipartisan effort in Congress to allow states to legaliz...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Editorial: A court victory for protecting Floridaís environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Floridaís environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18