Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is calling on Floridians to back gay marriage.

Ros-Lehtinen, a longtime supporter of gay rights, made her plea in a Miami Herald op-ed co-written by Jonathan Kislak, a Miami executive.

“As Republicans, we are united in our common conservative ideals of limited government, open and fair markets and allegiance to the family values that nurture a healthy and functional society,” Ros-Lehtinen and Kislak wrote. “When government acts in ways that affect individual freedoms, we believe it should strive to promote personal responsibility, commitment to honorable behavior and stability and opportunities for families. Thus, ensuring every individual's civil freedom to marry the person they love is a basic component to the pursuit of happiness.”

“In light of the court's rulings in support of civil marriage for same-sex couples, Florida should begin to evaluate the decision that was made five years ago. The path to removing our state's ban on the freedom to marry will be very challenging, and will take time to do so thoughtfully and with respect for everyone's beliefs and opinions. It is wrong to deny LGBT Floridians the basic rights enjoyed by so many other Americans. We must actively, and authentically, engage our fellow citizens to ensure that the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are extended to all Floridians.”

“Our nation has taken a number of historic strides towards equality, from the repeal of the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy to this recent repeal of DOMA. Much work remains to secure maximum freedoms under the law for all our citizens, but when we look back on these efforts, we will be proud to have been on the right side of history.”

Momentum for marriage equality in Florida is building. Supporters have launched a campaign for a 2014 ballot question and are considering a legal challenge to the state's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.