Stephanie Murphy calls John Mica’s silence on anti-LGBT rights bill ‘unimaginable’ on Pulse’s anniversary

Stephanie Murphy

Democratic congressional candidate Stephanie Murphy blasted her Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. John Mica, Wednesday for his co-sponsorship of a bill she characterized as anti-gay rights  — and then sitting silently through a hearing on the bill one month after the Orlando massacre at the popular gay nightclub Pulse.

The First Amendment Defense Act, House Resolution 2802, was debated Tuesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on which Mica sits. Tuesday also was the one-month anniversary of the Pulse massacre.

Murphy called Mica’s silence during the debate “unimaginable,” considering the Republican represents a community still grieving over the massacre of 49 people at the gay nightclub by a madman shooter who both expressed his loyalty to the international jihadist terrorist organization ISIS and his hatred of gays.

The bill seeks to assure religious freedom, by explicitly forbidding the federal government from cracking down on any organization, business or individual that discriminates based on personal beliefs that marriage should be should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage. The bill is widely seen by LGBT groups as direct backlash against gays and gay rights, particularly the right to marry bestowed a year ago in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Mica is a cosponsor of the HR 2802, as are fellow Central Florida Republicans U.S. Reps. Bill Posey of Rockledge and Dan Webster of Winter Garden.

“Debating anti-LGBT legislation one month after the horrific tragedy at Orlando’s Pulse Night Club is unimaginable coming from a congressman who represents Orlando, Florida,” Murphy said in a written statement sent to “While Orlando is a diverse, loving community, John Mica’s silence yesterday while Washington Republicans were attacking the LGBT community, just shows his unwillingness to do what is right, even when our community is attempting to heal from a great tragedy.”

Mica and his campaign were not immediately available Wednesday to respond to Murphy’s criticism.

Murphy, a Rollins College business professor and former Defense Department analyst, only entered the race late last month to challenge Mica in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, which covers north-central Orange County and Seminole County. Mica is a 12-term incumbent in what had for a long time been a safe Republican district. But this year’s congressional redistricting in Florida has shaved the Republican voter registration advantage to a much narrower margin over Democrats. Both are from Winter Park.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Kyle Smith

    July 14, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Did Mr Powers or Ms Murphy even read the bill? It prevents government discrimination of individuals or institutions based on their religious belief thus it is a religious liberty bill–not “anti-LGBT” as your headline states. It’s a short bill and can be found at

    • RAL

      July 14, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      There is an irony in fake religious freaks using religion to justify their bigotry.

      This bill is NOT about religious liberty. That is a lie fake Christians use to justify their very unchristian behavior.

      There is nothing of Jesus in this bigotry. It is the antithesis of what Jesus told us is required of us if we are to follow him.

      The American Taliban is alive and well, trying to shove their perversion of Christianity into our laws, so they can legally discriminate.

      That’s all this is: fake Christians trying to force their version of Shsria Law on all of us.

      It’s not working. We all know that people of faith are not behind these “religious liberty” laws. The people behind these laws are bigots pretending that God approves of their hateful bigotry, and they can do what they want just because they claim God wants them to.

      They’re morally reprehensible liars

  • RAL

    July 14, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Ah, yes, John, “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but…” Mica.

    The very definition of useless partisan hack.

    I felt bad for Comey, being confronted with one ignorant, conspiracy believing, idiotic Republican after another.

    But Mica’s SNL worthy preface to his statement was one of the highlights of the GOP’s latest witch hunt against Hillary.

Comments are closed.


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