As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on same-sex marriage, Broward Republican Chairman Tom Truex said the institution should not be changed from the tradition of a union between one man and one woman.
“I don’t want to seem alarmist, but the definition of marriage is one that’s held up well for thousands of years, really since the beginning of history. It’s not something to change based on this year’s polls. It’s much more serious. Families are the most basic institution in all of civilization. It’s not a trivial thing and marriage for thousands of years has been the cornerstone of families,” he said in a telephone interview.
His comments were a response by Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Ceasar, who attempted to put Truex in a political vise by calling on the Republican chairman to join him in endorsing same-sex marriage.
Truex, elected Broward Republican chairman last week, is well known as a social conservative who wouldn’t in any way condone same-sex marriage.
But some national Republicans have urged the party soften its opposition, something Ceasar sought to play into. He wrote that same-sex marriage “is both a legal and a human rights issue. How can we explain to a gay or lesbian veteran of Iraq that they are ‘less’ than a full citizen?”
He noted that polling shows a majority of Floridians an “now support this marriage concept” and that the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that allowing same-sex couples to marry would be in the best interest of children.
“Tom, you are a loving and decent person. Please join me in this civil rights/human rights cause. RNC Chairman Reince Preibus state that Republicans need to be more inclusive. I agree with your national chairman,” Ceasar wrote.
Truex termed Ceaser’s missive a “press release, which he sent to me.”
“If I had a serious issue that I wanted a serious reaction from Mr. Ceasar, I would call him. I wouldn’t send a press release that I then mailed to every reporter or blogger I can think of,” Truex said.
He said the line that referred to him as “a loving and decent person” was on target. “Other than that, I don’t agree with a lot of what’s in the letter,” he said.
Truex noted that his party’s national party platform supports the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, which he said “is the definition that has held up from the beginning of time until now.”
He said the issue shouldn’t be decided by the high court for all states. “It’s something that ought to be decided in Florida for Floridians,” he said.
Truex warned about what he believes could ultimately happen if the Supreme Court strikes down the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
“Right now [in] 2013, [what] is being discussed is same-sex marriage,” Truex said. “There are other combinations besides one man and one woman or same-sex marriage that could be under discussion in the future that are not under discussion now.
“Those other combinations, Florida residents should not be bound by what any other state decides is appropriate for the definition of marriage,” he said.
Asked what those combinations could involve, he said: “Let your imagination run wild. Any combination that is not one man or one woman.”
Later he said “you could have, besides one man and one woman, you could have several men or several women and that sort of combination
“I don’t want to seem alarmist, but the definition of marriage is one that’s held up well for thousands of years, really since the beginning of history. It’s not something to change based on this year’s polls. It’s much more serious. Families are the most basic institution in all of civilization. It’s not a trivial thing and marriage for thousands of years has been the cornerstone of families.
“So polls rise and fall, but marriage has been here for thousands of years. It will be discussed, but what’s most appropriate for Florida should be discussed in Tallahassee, not in Sacramento or Washington, D.C., or wherever these issues arise,” Truex said.