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Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler explains why he signed same-sex marriage proclamation

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, who voted against a same-sex resolution last year, signed a proclamation Friday celebrating the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Seiler has tried to stay on the sidelines of the same-sex marriage debate.

A married Catholic who has four children, Seiler told the Miami Herald in 2013 that he had no position on the issue of same-sex marriage but supported civil unions and domestic partner benefits for city employees. In June 2014, Seiler voted against a city resolution in support of same sex marriage. The former state representative and Wilton Manors mayor has been mentioned as a potential future statewide candidate but his position on same-sex marriage could put him at odds with other Democrats.

The proclamation, which says it's in recognition of the "Marriage Equality Landmark Decision," was read in part at a rally Friday at the Fort Lauderdale federal courthouse by City Commissioner Dean Trantalis, the city’s first openly gay commissioner. The proclamation states that Fort Lauderdale has the highest concentration of same-sex households in the nation, according to the 2012 Census.

Seiler was out of town for a trial on Friday but we caught up with him by email to ask why he signed the proclamation:

“As I stated dozens of times before, during, and after the City Commission's ceremonial non-binding vote a year ago, the City of Fort Lauderdale does not regulate -- and has never regulated -- marriage.

In fact, as I have consistently and repeatedly pointed out, the City of Fort Lauderdale does not have, and did not have, any authority over marriage or marriage rights.  

Further, as I also stated numerous times, the marriage issue should and would be resolved at the State level (where it is regulated), at the Federal level (where it can be regulated), or in the Courts.  In this instance, numerous Florida Courts ruled, and the rulings were overwhelmingly in support of same-sex marriage.  Now, the United States Supreme Court has ruled, and has established and upheld the right to same-sex marriage.  As such, the Courts have now finally and conclusively resolved the marriage issue.

As a City, we will continue to absolutely and unconditionally treat all marriages as equal, and, where applicable, we will update our codes, ordinances, and laws to implement and enforce marriage equality.  As to any newlyweds, we again extend our best wishes for many joyous years of good health, happiness, and love.”