Range of South Florida voices, pro & con, on same-sex marriage rulings

Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick riding in his city's gay pride parade on June. 22. His partner, Eric Bucher, is to Resnick's right.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage drew cheers from South Florida gay and lesbian couples, scorn from conservative Christians, and underscored fault lines on the issue within the Republican Party.

Here are reports from throughout the day from South Floridians with a range of expertise and variety of views:

6:45 p.m. | Rally draws 200 plus

More than 200 people attended a rush hour rally in support of same-sex marriage at the Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.

Organized by gay activist Michael Rajner, the event drew a range of people from the gay and lesbian community, as well as a slew of gay rights and political activists and several politicians.

The openly gay elected officials included Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis, who  Called June 2013 the “best gay pride month in history.” He also noted the absence of the city’s heterosexual mayor, Jack Seiler, from the event. “Where’s our mayor?” he asked.

Also at the event were openly gay Wilton Manors commissioners Julie Carson and Tom Green.

State Sen. Chris Smith, of Fort Lauderdale, the Democratic leader in the Florida Senate, who is a black heterosexual, noted that the Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage in 1967. As for same-sex marriage, he posed this question to the justices: “What took you so damn long?”

Smith pronounced it a “great day for human rights.”

The crowd was orderly, but courthouse security guards were zealous at keeping people off federal property, including telling lawyer Robin Bodiford, who has a broken leg, that she couldn’t sit.

And Fort Lauderdale Police dispatched officers on horseback to patrol the rally.

3:46 p.m. | Conservative pastor fumes at Supreme Court

“What in the world is going on with the U.S. Supreme Court. They have lost their ever-loving mind,” said the Rev. O’Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach. He’s trained as a lawyer, though he hasn’t taken the bar exam, and is a Republican Party activist.

“I really am dumbfounded. The problem is this: we have moved to another level now,” Dozier said.

“It is a sad day for conservatives in this country, for Bible-based believing people, whether they’re Jewish, Christians, Protestant, Catholic or whatever, it is a sad day for us because marriage has always been, ever since the beginning of time from the Garden of Eden, been between one man and one woman….

“How can you have a marriage between two people of the same sex? That can’t even happen because God ordained marriage between a man and a woman. If it’s not between a man and a woman then there is no marriage. Here we find the U.S. Supreme Court to take it upon themselves to redefine marriage. In other words what the U.S. Supreme Court has done is that they have called God a liar…. They say, ‘God, you had it wrong.’ They have taken it upon themselves to correct God. They question is do they believe, those five people that voted for this on the Supreme Court, do they believe they are greater than God?”

Dozier said he doesn’t want to see the Republican Party heed calls by some in the party to support same-sex marriage. “I don’t want the Republican Party to believe that they need to now endorse same-sex marriage in order to compete with the Democrats or compete with liberals  for votes,” he said. “It will be destructive to the Republican Party.”

3:39 p.m. | Gay couples rejoice

“I’m very pleased with the ruling,” said H. Joan Waitkevicz of West Palm Beach. “It’s a joy to see that our rights as citizens are expanding, and we would like to see it happen in Florida as well.”

Waitkevicz, 67, has been with her partner, Shirley Y. Herman, 71, for 40 years. The retirees married in Massachusetts in 2010.

Waitkevicz said she doesn’t expect a political reaction that energizes people opposed to same-sex marriage, because “the reactionaries are about as bad as they can be already.”