Original post | 8:36 a.m.
Updated | 12:13 p.m.
Jack Seiler and Buddy Dyer are both baby boomers.
They’re both former Democratic members of the Florida Legislature.
They’ve both wanted to serve in statewide elected office.
They’re both mayors of well known Florida cities: Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, which depend heavily on tourism.
UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law & Public Policy reports both cities in the top 100 in the nation in the number of same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
But Fort Lauderdale’s Seiler and Orlando’s Dyer are taking far different paths on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Seiler was on the losing side of a 3-2 Fort Lauderdale City Commission vote last week on a nonbinding resolution that put the city on record supporting same-sex marriage.
Dyer won a 5-2 Orlando City Council vote this week in support of his plan to file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting lawsuits seeking to overturn the Florida ban on same-sex marriage.
He’s also part of the national, bipartisan “mayors for freedom to marry” supporters of same-sex marriage. Seiler hasn’t signed on.
In Broward, 14 of the 31 city, town and village mayors are on the list, plus Barbara Sharief, the county commissioner serving a one-year turn as county mayor.
The signatories are: Lisa Aronson of Coconut Creek, Peter Bober of Hollywood, Joy Cooper of Hallandale Beach, Harry Dressler of Tamarac, Richard Kaplan of Lauderhill, Ashira Mohammed of West Park, Lori Moseley of Miramar, Frank Ortis of Pembroke Pines, Judy Paul of Davie, Lesa Perman of Margate, Gary Resnick of Wilton Manors, Mike Ryan of Sunrise, Claire Schubert of Hillsboro Beach, Michael Udine of Parkland.
Apparently the "Mayors For ..." list isn't completely up-to-date.
Political activist Michael Rajner said Oakland Park's Shari McCartney is a supporter, something she confirmed via email.
McCartney, along with two other members of the Oakland Park City Commission, participated in the annual gay pride parade Saturday in Wilton Manors. Pictures of the three are in the picture gallery o f politicians to the right.
Here's McCartney's email:
I have indeed signed-on for "Mayors for Freedom to Marry" -- and I was also in the Stonewall parade last weekend. In fact, the City of Oakland Park had its own contingent, including members of staff, firefighters and a fire truck, and two fellow members of the Commission. Oakland Park has a significant gay population and as the Mayor I feel it is appropriate to acknowledge that group by participating in the parade, just as I attended events for Black History month and the Polynesian cultural festival. Elected officials, especially figurehead Mayors, should honor their community's groups, whether or not those groups supported them.
The truth is I am somewhere between Buddy Dyer and Jack Seiler.
As a conservative, yes I am a Republican, I embrace freedom as the most fulfilling status a human being can hold. Sometimes, it is a challenge for some of my fellow conservatives, because to truly embrace freedom and a free society one has to accept that others have a right to live their life to the fullest – as they see it – even when a certain pursuit of happiness seems at odds with other values one holds. I urge my fellow conservatives not to be afraid of freedom.
However, individual freedom is one thing and forcing acceptance is another. For example, as a Catholic, I will never support a requirement that the Church conduct same-sex marriages, or ACA mandates to do or not do things that are contrary to Church doctrine -- and forcing a bakery to make a gay wedding cake is just silly. Regarding those who oppose same-sex marriage, I understand their position and I support their right to voice it; I just wish they would express it in a kinder way.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun