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Incoming UF president Ben Sasse abstained from Senate vote on marriage act – Tampa Bay Occasions

Incoming College of Florida President Ben Sasse was amongst three U.S. senators to abstain from voting this week on the Respect for Marriage Act, which handed with provisions providing federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriage.

Sasse’s stances on same-sex marriage — together with his feedback on the Respect for Marriage Act when it was proposed — had been among the many high issues cited by many who opposed his bid for the UF presidency.

The act handed Tuesday with 61 votes, together with 12 from Republicans. Thirty-six Republicans voted towards the act, together with Florida senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Pennsylvania Republican Patrick Toomey and Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock additionally abstained.

Requested about Sasse’s abstention, a spokesperson for the senator supplied a Politico story from final week that reported Sasse can be absent from Washington, D.C., due to a medical incident his spouse suffered the earlier weekend. It included an announcement from Sasse’s workplace.

“As of us know, Melissa had a life-threatening vertebral dissection in 2007, and has suffered occasional seizures lately,” the assertion mentioned. “This weekend, she had a big — however non-life-threatening — seizure whereas Ben and [his son] Breck had been out deer looking. Melissa is recovering properly however Ben will stay in Nebraska together with her the subsequent few days specializing in neurology consultations.”

In feedback to reporters over the summer time, Sasse criticized Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi for attempting “to divide America with tradition wars” and known as her actions “simply the identical bulls—.” His web site says he helps Nebraska values, together with the “sanctity of marriage.”

Whereas protesters at UF known as him homophobic and college students and school questioned his means to steer a various campus, Sasse repeatedly said that he noticed his function as UF president as completely different from his “federal political commitments.” He mentioned he believed within the dignity of all folks.

Sasse has pledged to fulfill with the college’s LGBTQ+ presidential advisory committee and maintain Kent Fuchs, the outgoing UF president, as an advisor. Fuchs has been lauded for his on-campus efforts supporting LGBTQ college students and workers.

Sasse will begin the president’s job in February. He tweeted that he intends to resign from the U.S. Senate the primary week of January.

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