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Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler supports civil unions, no position on same-sex marriage

BY AMY SHERMAN, ASHERMAN@MIAMIHERALD.COM

As political figures ranging from mayors to U.S. Senators to Hillary Clinton announce their support for gay marriage, a key Democrat in Florida’s most liberal county is notably absent: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler.

Seiler, who is weighing a possible run for governor in 2014, has long been viewed as supportive of gay rights, beginning in the 1990s when he was a member of the Wilton Manors city council and later as a state representative and as mayor of Broward’s largest city, home to a vocal and visible gay population. But as polls nationwide have shown increased support for gay marriage, Seiler has not joined the growing list of politicians announcing they back same sex marriage.

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Seiler, a married father of four children, said he has taken no position on same sex marriage but supports civil unions. When asked if it was fair to say he is against gay marriage Seiler said that’s “not fair at all. I support civil unions.”

As for gay marriage, Seiler said: “I don’t have any position on it. Right now it is outlawed in Florida,” he said. “I haven’t bothered to spend any time on it. ... I don’t debate and discuss issues I can’t have a vote on. ... I don’t sit and discuss hypothetical issues. If an issue comes up and I have a chance to impact the outcome, I’ll take a position.”

“I have a 20-year track record of being extremely respectful of the gay community and trying to assist the gay community to further gay rights,” Seiler said.

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