There are worse things for politicians to be than boring moderates, sure, but Bill Nelson is a boring moderate through and through. So, it's really no surprise that his stance on gay marriage is predictably off in some vague, boring, moderate middle land.
In the wake of President Obama's support of gay marriage, The Miami Herald asked Nelson for his position on the issue. Florida's Democratic senior senator doesn't often wade into hot button issues, and he stayed quiet on 2008's anti-gay Amendment Two. Here's what he wrote:
"I have a record fighting against discrimination and standing up for people's civil rights based on their sexual orientation," Nelson said in an email Thursday to the Miami Herald, not revealing whether he agrees with Obama's progressive stance on gay couples marrying. "I believe marriage should be left to the states, and Florida voted on same-sex marriage in 2008."
Unless it involves snakes or space, you can usually find some sort of distanced position coming from Nelson. Which is pretty much par for the course for Florida's Democratic party. Especially for members who either hold state-wide elected positions or those who would like to someday hold them. This is a state that hasn't elected any true Lefty since Claude Pepper won a Senate seat in 1936.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, who sits in her safe, strongly Democratic house district released a much more enthusiastic response to Obama's gay marriage announcement:
"As a product of the civil rights movement, I believe in equality for all. As a lifelong educator, I have experienced the pain and hurt that rejection has on our gay and lesbian children. So, I always taught my students about the Golden Rule - 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' We are all children of God, and we all deserve the same freedoms, protections and peace. Right on, Mr. President, right on!"
You'll notice however that this statement does not bluntly say, "I support gay marriage, too."
It would be nice if Florida had a few more Democrat politicians who were actually further to the left on gay-rights issues than gay marriage-happy Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
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