Florida’s Formidable Speaker of the House


Though he has managed to stay under the radar on broader, hot button issues thus far, Corcoran has made several votes that have angered key demographics. Most notably, he has placed himself in opposition to the LGBT community on more than one occasion. While not traditionally a key constituency of the GOP, there is a growing libertarian element in the party that believes freedom means freedom for all. After the well-publicized debacles in North Carolina and other states that caused economic damage to tourism and other industries, Florida seems poised to take a different approach to these issues.

Corcoran has a well-established record in opposition to specific rights for the LGBT community. In 2015, He voted against a bill that amended child adoption laws to allow homosexual individuals to adopt. Of the 79 Republicans that voted on the issue, Corcoran was one of only 35 that voted “no.”

In 2016, he voted “yes” on a controversial bill that allows churches to decline marriage services to homosexual couples without liability. These issues lie at a crossroads of arguments for liberty and freedom and become more complicated when freedom of religion arguments collide with those for gay rights. With specific religious freedom bills also moving through the legislature, it remains to be seen how these will meet Corcoran’s frequent statements about principles and limited government. He is frequently quoted raising the GOP anthem that “government should not pick winners and losers.” This is the basis of his opposition to Governor Scott’s Enterprise Florida program.

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