Vote No On 2 Campaign's Fan Box

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Saint Pete Times Editorial

Copyright Times Publishing Co. Mar 25, 2006

With substantial financial backing from the Florida Republican Party, the proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage now looks unstoppable. On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court brushed aside objections that the initiative language wasn't clear or that it violated the single-subject rule and approved the measure for the ballot. Now the only thing the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment needs to get on the ballot in 2008 is another 150,000 valid signatures - not much of a hurdle. The state GOP has contributed $300,000 to the signature-gathering effort, which so far has collected 467,000 of the 611,000 certified signatures needed.

The amendment can only help Republicans in their get-out-the- vote efforts in 2008. Initiatives asking voters to bar same-sex couples from marrying have passed in every state where they have been on the ballot. Opinion polls show most Floridians oppose same- sex marriage, and Christian conservatives - a major part of the Republican Party's base - are particularly energized by the prospect of enshrining the ban in the state Constitution.

But the proposed amendment would make a terrible addition to the state Constitution, a document that is supposed to speak for all of Floridians. Although the state high court said the initiative language is clear and unambiguous, in fact it is misleading and would go far beyond just prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying.

The initiative says that marriage would be limited to "one man and one woman" and bars any "other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof." This would undoubtedly apply to civil unions and other domestic partnerships, even though not explicitly stated.

According to polls, a majority of Floridians have indicated that they would support legalizing civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, an arrangement that would extend the same legal benefits to them that married couples enjoy. But because of the amendment's ambiguous language, it is likely that many voters won't know they are approving a ban on those arrangements as well.

Florida law already prohibits same-sex marriage, but that wasn't enough for the Republican Party, which thinks nothing about diminishing the state Constitution to arouse its base.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Miami Herald Editorial: Scrap This Initiative



Posted on Wed, Feb. 16, 2005
The drive to ban gay marriages with a state constitutional amendment, announced Monday by a coalition of conservative groups, is wrong-headed by every measure of reason. The Florida Legislature has already banned such unions between gays and lesbians by state statute.

We strongly disagreed with the Legislature's action, which made it legal to deny rights to people based on their sexual orientation. But the law does exist, thus making any initiative to institutionalize such discrimination in our Constitution repugnant and offensive as well as wasteful…
…Only a vigorous resistance by fair-minded Floridians who respect our Constitution will repel this call to further institutionalize a hateful form of discrimination.