Seiler’s stance might have been more accepted a year ago, said Ed Leuchs, a member of Broward’s Dolphin Democrats, a gay political club.
“The issue has passed him by, the train is moving, he has to catch up and jump on the caboose or he is left behind,” Leuchs said. “His party is committed to this issue now.”
Leuchs said he met with Seiler last year to try to convince him to sign the national Mayors for Freedom to Marry petition. The petition was signed by Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober, Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis, Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower and Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs, along with other South Florida mayors.
Seiler says he doesn’t sign petitions unless he is the organizer and has control of position papers. (That’s why he also didn’t sign on to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group headed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.)
Statewide, politicians’ positions on same-sex marriage are increasingly in the spotlight.
Sen. Bill Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday that he has changed his position on gay marriage.
“Simply put, if The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn’t, and I won’t,” he said. “So I will add my name to the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional.”
Former state Sen. Nan Rich, who is running for governor in 2014, said she’s stronger on same-sex marriage. “I support marriage equality — I believe it’s an issue of fairness. ... It’s a core Democratic principle for me because it’s about fairness and equality.”
Julie Carson, vice president of the Dolphin Democrats and Wilton Manors vice mayor, said she wants Seiler to support same-sex marriage — if he believes in it.
“Mayor Seiler has always been friendly to our community. He has always appeared at various groups and organizations that are GLBT aligned,” she said. “Sometimes people come about things their own way and in their own time.”
Said Seiler: “I don’t take any position based on whether I’m running statewide or not,” he said. “I have a track record of supporting gays.”
Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary contributed to this report.