US: Florida church that opposes same-sex marriage drops polling station after complaints

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A church in Florida that campaigns against same-sex marriage will no longer operate as a polling station, after complaints that it could influence voters.

The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, in Indialantic, has campaigned for a constitutional same-sex marriage ban, and a sign outside the church reads “Protect marriage and family life”.

The church also houses a memorial to the unborn, reading “all life is sacred, born and unborn. Respect Life”, with some complaining that the church could influence some people’s votes.

Election supervisor Lori Scott told Florida Today that the church came to their own decision to no longer run a polling station.

She said: “It was their decision, I would not have moved it.

“I rely on lots of organizations for polling places and churches are a big part of that. They are the only community centres in a lot of places.

“It’s not a violation of church and state. In Florida, 38 percent of the polling places are churches. As a supervisor I rely on those partnerships.”

Vicki Impoco, who complained about the church, said: “I’m not against God or religion, I’m just for fairness and following the law.

“I don’t necessarily have a problem with churches. My issue was with Holy Name.”

Michael Williams, of the nearby Harbor City Christian Church Hall, said: “I think it’s used to support an agenda.

“Why not use churches? We use our fellowship hall.

“It’s not like the voting is taking place in the sanctuary. Not only that, we don’t promote anything on election day.

“There’s no proselytizing. All we do is make the facility available to the public.”