Vote No On 2 Campaign's Fan Box

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It is important to say these things out loud.

President-elect Barack Obama believes "marriage is between a man and a woman".

Barack Obama does not think gay couples' relationships are worthy of the same stature as his and Michelle's.
He does not believe that gay couples deserve the precise same legal recognition or status that his marriage confers to him and his wife.
He believes we should have a different, inherently lesser, legal framework to protect each other and our children.

It is important to say these things out loud.

President-elect Obama enters the White House with a record of support and  a better platform on issues of LGBT equality than any other president this country has known.
He opposed amending state constitutions to single out gay couples to ban them from marriage. He supports  federally recognized Civil Unions. He oppose federal legislation and constitutional measures that ban marriage recognition for gay couples.
He supports the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, will push the Hate Crimes bill and supports an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination law. 

By all accounts he has a laudable record of pushing for equal rights and we must work with his administration relentlessly to manifest these promises.

But he also believes there is a quality to heterosexual relationships that make them worthy of a higher status by society under the law.
Barack Obama believes "marriage is between a man and a woman".
He says gay couples can have civil unions, domestic partnership, some other, different, diminished copy of an arrangement.

It is important that we not pretend we don't already know this.

I am awed by Barack Obama. His words inspire me. His intellect comforts me. His grassroots campaign was a beautiful, diverse and powerful thing to behold.
After years of a Bush/Cheney cynicism, war, arrogance and incompetence I wept tears of joy for Barack Obama's election.  For the historic shift and transformational meaning that a Black president heralds for our country, I beamed with pride. Change is coming and I am hopeful.

But when it comes to the issue of marriage, Barack Obama is wrong. 
I have criticized  the selection of Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration. 
Warren compares gay relationships with incest and pedophilia and runs a psychologically reckless, "ex-gay" ministry out of his mega-church. 
His presence on the dias should be challenged vigorously. 

But I will not lie to myself. I will not make Warren the proxy for the unspoken disappointment and anger at Barack Obama for his more nuanced insult to gay couples when he says "marriage is between a man and a woman". We must be prepared to help President Obama lead and we must be willing to tell the truth when he is wrong.

When it comes to the issue of marriage Barack Obama is wrong. 
Gay people deserve equal protection under the law. Our families deserve precisely the same benefits, protection and legal recognition as straight couples receive.

It is important to say these things out loud.

John Ridley: The U.S. Goes Global With its Anti-Gayness

John Ridley: The U.S. Goes Global With its Anti-Gayness
Funny thing about this great land of ours. She's got no problem fighting for what's right (Civil War), but she doesn't always make the simple stand for righteousness (Civil Rights movement).

This past Thursday the United Nations, which excels at issuing proclamations, circulated one that is as marginally effectual as it is symbolically strong. It was just a little ole declaration seeking universal decriminalization of homosexuality.

Wasn't saying Gays could get married.
Wasn't saying Gays could show up at your house and read your kids Heather Has Two Mommies.
It was just saying, you know: "Hey, Iran, when you're done with that show trial, could you possibly not hang those two guys who engaged in a love whose name you dare not speak."

And if you think I'm being hyperbolic, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay notes that ten countries still have laws making homosexual activity punishable by death.

But the U.S. did not sign the declaration. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Newsweek "Takes a Bullet" On Gay Marriage

By Mary E. Hunt

As a theologian, I sometimes wonder if anyone cares about what we write. But Newsweek's cover story (December 15, 2008), "Our Mutual Joy," set off a firestorm of responses so voluminous that it temporarily shut down the magazine's comments function on their Web site. Time's "Person of the Year" issue would be lucky to get as much attention as the enormous response to a religion editor's pro-gay marriage piece. Apparently, religion still matters.

What does it mean, though, that this story has generated such controversy? The most obvious point is that people still care what religions say about matters of sexuality, for reasons that sometimes remain obscure. I doubt that the same reaction, and surely not the same huge numbers and rabid intensity, would have accompanied a progressive religious treatment of the war in Iraq or the death penalty. So why same-sex marriage? Why the private sphere and not the public forum?

One reason is that as Christianity has lost its hegemony in an increasingly religiously pluralistic society, Christian conservatives have staked their shrinking claims on changing personal ethics. First abortion, now same-sex marriage, and soon, end-of-life issues, are seen as litmus tests of orthodoxy. These issues define who's in or out and, more importantly, who's making decisions for a society.

The Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, has learned this the hard way lately. He has been urging his (kicking and screaming) colleagues to acknowledge global warming and join him in "creation care." They tolerated him even as they denied the scientific consensus because they mistakenly took ecology to be a larger-than-life issue that did not touch the daily lives of people.

But when he voiced tepid support, not for marriage, but simply for civil unions for same-sex couples, he was forced out of his position. Marriage is closer to home. That straw broke the camel's back because the issue is easier for people to grasp—and is thus where religious authorities could seem to be wielding real social power. Which is an illusion, after all, since global warming touches a lot more people than same sex marriage.

Read the rest here:

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Associated Press: Top evangelical resigns after backing gay unions

Top evangelical resigns after backing gay unions

An outspoken and polarizing voice in conservative Christian politics
resigned effective Thursday from the National Association of
Evangelicals after a radio interview in which he voiced support for
same-sex civil unions and said he is "shifting" on gay marriage.

The Rev. Richard Cizik's comments — made on a Dec. 2 "Fresh Air"
broadcast on National Public Radio — triggered an uproar that led to
his stepping down as NAE vice president of governmental affairs.

A fixture in Washington for nearly three decades, Cizik has played a
key role in bringing evangelical Christian concerns to the political
table. But in recent years, he earned enemies in the movement for
pushing to broaden the evangelical agenda. His strongest focus was on
"creation care," arguing that evangelicals have a biblical
responsibility to the environment that includes combatting global


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Opponents of gay couples marrying often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.

Our Mutual Joy
Lisa Miller
From the magazine issue dated Dec 15, 2008

Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so.

The battle over gay marriage has been waged for more than a decade, but within the last six months—since California legalized gay marriage and then, with a ballot initiative in November, amended its Constitution to prohibit it—the debate has grown into a full-scale war, with religious-rhetoric slinging to match. Not since 1860, when the country's pulpits were full of preachers pronouncing on slavery, pro and con, has one of our basic social (and economic) institutions been so subject to biblical scrutiny. But whereas in the Civil War the traditionalists had their James Henley Thornwell—and the advocates for change, their Henry Ward Beecher—this time the sides are unevenly matched. All the religious rhetoric, it seems, has been on the side of the gay-marriage opponents, who use Scripture as the foundation for their objections.

The argument goes something like this statement, which the Rev. Richard A. Hunter, a United Methodist minister, gave to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in June: "The Bible and Jesus define marriage as between one man and one woman. The church cannot condone or bless same-sex marriages because this stands in opposition to Scripture and our tradition."

To which there are two obvious responses:

Orlando LGBT Community and Allies Form New Unity Coalition

Orlando LGBT Community and Allies Form New Unity Coalition

One Orlando unites a broad spectrum of diverse organizations and
individuals in a common purpose to obtain equality and dignity for all
Floridians, and to repudiate and oppose anti-gay bigotry and

Established in the aftermath of the passage of the discriminatory
"Marriage Protection Amendment" to the Florida Constitution, One
Orlando has been formed to unite the larger Central Florida community
in an effort to counter prevalent and dangerous anti-gay bigotry.
Nonprofit organizations, civic and community groups, faith
institutions, businesses and individuals throughout the Central
Florida region will combine their resources and talents to oppose
discrimination and prejudice wherever it occurs in our community. The
new coalition will also organize the local efforts of the national
grassroots movement Join the Impact.

Participating organizations include: The GLBT Center of Central
Florida; Equality Florida; Metropolitan Business Association (MBA);
Human Rights Campaign (HRC); ACLU of Central Florida; PFLAG (Parents,
Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) of Orlando, Brevard and Polk
Counties; Gay & Lesbian Lawyer Association of Central Florida (GALLA);
Joy Metropolitan Community Church; First Congregational Church of
Winter Park; Hope Unites United Church of Christ; First Unitarian
Church of Orlando; Oasis Fellowship Ministries; St Dorothy's Catholic
Community; Orlando Gay Chorus; Rainbow Democrats; Log Cabin
Republicans; Orange County Democrats; The Ryan Skipper Foundation;
UCF's GLB Student Union, GLBT Alumni Association, and Office of
Diversity Initiatives; Orlando and Lakeland Youth Alliances; Be Real;
Rollins College Office of Multicultural Affairs; Planned Parenthood of
Greater Orlando; and NOW of Central Florida. invites all like-minded individuals and organizations
to join us in this all-volunteer, grassroots movement as we stand
united against destructive anti-gay discrimination and homophobia in
our city and state. Upcoming events include a holiday food drive, and
a candlelight vigil on Saturday, December 20, 2008 at First
Congregational Church of Winter Park. Details will follow.

# # ## is a unity coalition of Central Florida nonprofit
organizations, faith institutions, businesses, and individuals which
are united in a common purpose to combat discrimination and anti-gay
bigotry in Florida. More information is available at

Will You Join Me? Wed Dec 10th 6pm

From: "Bart Coyle" <>

Dear Friends,
Will you join with me?
There is a place in Iran where people go to die, it is called Edalat Square. In 2005 two young boys in their teens were hung for the crime of being "homosexuals". The United Nations is trying to shun this kind of behavior by instituting a declaration against the imprisonment and or the execution of gay people. Yet the Roman Catholic Church is lobbying the United Nations to allow the imprisonment and execution of gay men and women throughout the world. I am sure that some Catholics are good with this thinking but I am more than sure that the majority of Roman Catholics want to have nothing to do with this absurd teaching as they would have nothing to do with the Church's teaching on birth control. Catholics that I know do not want people murdered because they are gay, however the official word from Rome is that Catholic Bishops do. There will be a candlelight vigil at the Catholic Cathedral in Venice, FL on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 6:00 PM reminding the Catholic Bishop of Venice that hate is not a virtue. I may be the only person standing on the steps of the Cathedral with a candle on Wednesday because the word got out late but know this, the voices of hate will in time be silenced.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

NEWSWEEK: The Religious Case For Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage: Our Mutual Joy |


Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their
word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham,
the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his
beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children
with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham,
Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these
fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of
marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an
indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle
Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for
those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than
to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm
endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any
contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their
wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about
gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have
it be so.

For more:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Home Depot Founder: Retailers Who Don't Support GOP "Should Be Shot"

Nadine Smith
10:00am Nov 19th
Home Depot Founder: Retailers Who Don't Support GOP "Should Be Shot"

Home Depot Founder: Retailers Who Don't Support GOP "Should Be Shot" - The Huffington Postk:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Comedian Wanda Sykes Comes Out: "I’m Proud To Be Gay and Married"


Dozens of rallies were held around the nation on Saturday to protest the passage of anti-gay ballot measures in CA, Fl, AZ and AR. Sykes was married to her wife in California. The passage of  Prop 8 and re-banned same-sex marriage and sparked a fury. But only one that I know of featured a prominent celebrity coming out of the closet, and that would be the one here at the GLBT Community Center. Here she is...

I've also posted the audio of Sykes' remarks and my brief interview with her in the podcast feed. It adds up to about 8 minutes and you can hear it by clicking here or you can save it to your computer by right-clicking here

Here's a little bit of what Sykes said. She started by talking about how exciting it was to her to see Obama elected:

"I thought, man we are moving in the right direction. And then at about 11 o'clock I was crushed. We took a huge leap forward and then got dragged 12 feet back. I felt like I was being attacked, personally attacked, our community was attacked. I got married Oct. 25, I don't really talk about my sexual orientation, I felt like I was living my life, I wasn't in the closet, but I was just living my life. Everybody who knows me personally, they know I'm gay. And that's the way people should be able to live our lives, really. We shouldn't have to be standing out here demanding something we automatically should have as citizens of this country. ... They pissed off the wrong group of people. They have galvanized a community. We are so together now and we all want the same thing and we shouldn't have to settle for less. Instead of having gay marriage in California, no, we're gonna have gay marriage across the country. When my wife and I leave California, I want to have my marriage also recognized in Nevada, in Arizona, all the way to New York. ... I'm proud to be a woman, I'm proud to be a black woman and I'm proud to be gay."

In my interview with her, she said this: "People shouldn't have to talk about their sexual orientation, we shouldn't have to do it, but with the legislation that they passed, I can't sit by and just watch. I just can't do it."

Sykes also disputed the much-reported claim that 70 percent of black voters in California voted to ban gay marriage. Several prominent writers, including Dan Savage here, have railed against homophobic blacks. Wanda said the exit polls were wrong and admonished me, "Please stop spreading that 70 percent of African-Americans voted Yes on Prop 8 because it's just not true."

After the speeches, the very large -- figure more than 1,000 people -- crowd lined Sahara Avenue with signs. This gives some sense of how immense this was.

Source: Karen Ocamb

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keith Olbermann: Gay marriage is a question of love

Olbermann: Gay marriage is a question of love

Everyone deserves the same chance at permanence and happiness

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Bittersweet Update- Results Are In


Amendment 2 has passed.

Before I give what looks like the final numbers I just want to say thank you.

The amendment battle has made it crystal clear that Floridians believe it is wrong to punish unmarried couples by taking away benefits and protections. Through newspaper editorials, town hall meetings, rallies, thousands of emails, and statewide polling, Floridians have stated again and again that they believe it is right to provide benefits to unmarried couples, gay and straight.

An incredible coalition has been forged through this effort. A coalition that doesn't only believe in protecting all unmarried couples, but is also willing to fight for those protections.

Equality Florida and all of the 260+ organizations that make up the Fairness for All Families Coalition, will continue to fight for protections for all families in Florida and to ensure not one single person loses their benefits because of this amendment.

All of the polling showed that the more Florida voters learned about this measure, the more they rejected it. We simply ran out of time to educate the million of voters necessary. The far right backers of this amendment thought they would have an easy march through Florida, a state they bank on for pushing their divisive tactics. Only by deceiving voters, were they able to pass this amendment and that is why we will continue to educate the public on the value of all families.

Okay, so here we are:

Amendment 2 has passed.

YES- 4,319,547 votes (62.4%)
NO- 2,607,955 votes (37.6%)

Barack Obama is our new president and has turned Florida blue.

Obama- 3,719,917 (50.6%)
McCain- 3,576,534 (48.6%)

Prop 102 in Arizona has passed (AZ's version of Amendment 2).

YES- 56%
NO- 44%

Prop 8 in California is still too early to tell, but at the moment looks likely to pass.

YES- 56.3%
NO- 43.7%

It's going to be a long night. More updates to come.


The NOs Are Creeping UP!


Hold onto your towels, the game is not yet over! The number of NO votes coming in are growing, slowly by steadily. We're still in the race.

YES- 3,877,926 (62.7%)
NO- 2,307,529 (37.3%)


From Mary Wilson in Orange County

You sent me to Catalyst church. I got there at 9:30 and stayed till 2PM. Both the pastor and his wife and a guy directing traffic tried to get me to stop handing people flyers claiming that it might cause cars stopped while still in the street because I was talking to a car further in. The pastor threatened me and told me he was going to have me removed.

I moved to the right of way line in the driveway. The pastor sent over the cop. `I was legal. The traffic guy stood in front of me to stop me talking to or handing anything to people coming in. It was overwhelming Obama.. But I worry about 2.
Mary Wilson

Join Us for a Election Returns Party

We want everyone to have an event they can attend to watch election returns at the end of the day. Election parties are listed below for counties where information is available:

Broward: LGBT GOTV Center in Wilton Manors. 2040 N Dixie Hwy, Wilton Manors (near 5 points).

Jacksonville: Ragland's Restaurant and Fuel Coffee House - 1037 Park St, Jacksonville

Miami: Halo 1625 Michigan Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Orange: Orange County Democratic Party Watch Party, Orlando Regional History Center 9:00pm 65 East Central Blvd. Orlando.

St Petersburg: Georgie's Alibi, 3100 3rd Ave. North St Petersburg

Tampa: Streetcar Charlies, 1811 N. 15th St., Tampa, FL, or Gaspar's Grotto, 1805 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, FL 33605

Gainesville: Pride Center, 3131 NW 13th St. Gainesville, or Gator's Dockside 3842 W. Newbury Rd

Tallahassee: Steele City Saloon, 515 John Knox Road, Tallahassee - this part is in the basement of the bar.

Palm Beach County: South County Civic Center in Del Ray (Jog Rd. in Delray across from Morikami Park) starting at 8:00 pm.

We're in a Holding Pattern

The results keep pouring in, but the numbers remain the same. At this point 45.5% of the votes in Florida are in.

YES- 3,183,451 (63.3%)
NO- 1,848,610 (36.7%)

Hello Form Gainesville

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a successful day. We exceeded our expectations here in Gainesville. We had 43 people at precincts throughout the day in Alachua and another 11 (at least) in neighboring counties. Plus we had Alachua DEC workers at almost every precinct in the county handing out the NO on 2 message for almost the entire day. We received an overwhelmingly good response here and definitely pulled A LOT of votes from all ideologies and parties.

It has been amazing to work with you. I've learned so much on this journey and I've come to admire each and every one of you. No matter what happens tonight, I want to thank you all for an incredible campaign.

Gaby Madriz

Miami New Times: Eleciont Day No Scene in Kendall

Election Day: No Scene in Kendall

This past Sunday –- the last day for early voting in Florida –- the line at the Kendall Branch Library wrapped around the building and stretched down the street, almost all the way to Kendall Drive. This morning at 7:45, traffic was remarkably subdued. Where were the lawn-parking hordes that had littered the streets with McCain/Palin and Raul Martinez flyers? This morning the library parking lot wasn’t even full, and the line of voters didn’t even extend as far as the sidewalk. Under gray skies and cool breezes, the sign holders and flag wavers were at a blissful minimum. The McCain guy barely muttered a “g’morning” as this New Times reporter walked past him. Ruth Zalph, an elderly Obama campaigner; and Jean Ritter, who held signs and flyers with bold "No On 2" messages on them, were more approachable. Ritter gave eloquent reasons to support her cause, and Zalph could only speak for herself, not for her demographic.

“As far as my age, I find it hard to say who people are voting for. I support Obama for so many reasons: An end to the war in Iraq. A way to improve our status around the world. To stop the outsourcing of jobs. And the deregulation of Wall Street. McCain has voted for all of it, and with Bush all the way. He’s a warrior. That’s in his nature. We don’t need a warrior right now. No justice, no peace. There will never be peace without justice.”

Voters trickled in dribs and drabs; the shockingly short line moved quickly. People sipped coffee and read the sample ballots being handed out to them. One woman put on mascara and got ready for work while waiting in line. Many of the freshly stickered voters didn’t have the time or desire to chat with New Times after they cast their ballots. “I gotta run -- I got work,” one woman practically shrieked as I made eye contact with her. “Sorry, honey, I gotta get to work,” declared a mother, who had just voted with her teenage daughter in tow. They seemed relieved at the speed of the voting process.

At the 7-Eleven across the street, the voting results seemed more immediately apparent. “Sorry, we’re out of Obama cups,” the cashier informed an inquiring customer. A stack of red John McCain cups remained.

-- Patrice Yursik

Numbers reported thus far

It looks like the smaller counties have reported and some of the early voting results:

62.9% Yes
37.1% NO

You Will Not Believe This!

Over at the polling precinct near Bell Shoals Baptist church the Yes on 2 folks have a fellow dressed in drag prancing about telling
people: This is what your children will be exposed to if you vote No on 2.

You can't make this stuff up.

We are hoping to capture the magic on film. Sally is enroute with a camera.

Don't let up for a moment.

Be On the Lookout for Dirty Tricks

Report by Rev. Dee Graham, Voter, Precinct 270:

About 9:30 a.m., Signa Quandt and I went to Precinct 270 to vote.
Signa, who was confined to a manual wheel chair and uses a service dog, was pushed by me.
We went into the precinct, which had no lines.
I wheeled Signa up to her alphabetical sign-in, and then stood next to her at her own sign-in book.
Waiting for the worker to find her name in the book, the precinct captain, Janice, came over, stood behind the worker, motioned and asked me to remove her button that read: “ Even though she knew she could have refused, because it is legal to wear such a pin when one is voting, Dee quietly took off the button and put it in her pocket without argument.

When both had their second step paperwork, Dee pushed Signa’s wheelchair until an appropriate setup was made available at a table where she could reach a voting surface. Then Dee went to one of the usual voting booths, the second from the last one.

At that booth, set up for the unsuspecting next voter to see, was a paid political advertisement from and a list of the amendments with YES clearly checked for number 2. Clearly, this propaganda had been left in the booth in plain sight of the next unsuspecting voter.

Noting the contradiction at Precinct 270, that while I had been told to remove my NO-on-2 button, I would find Yes-on-2 instructions in the voting booth, I asked to speak to the precinct captain and was directed to Janice.

I informed Janice of the situation and reminded her that the law would allow me to wear my button but that I removed it voluntarily at her request. I showed her the propaganda I had removed from the voting booth. She asked me if I would like to file a complaint with the supervisor of elections and I said yes. She asked me if I would like her to dispose of the propaganda and I declined. She gave me a simple voter response card.

At this point I had put my NO-on-2 pin back on, and Signa was ready to be pushed in her chair from her voting location at the table to the exit line. However, I was stopped at the door by another poll worker and told I would have to take off my pin before I could go get her to push her to the place where she could deposit her vote and to leave.
During the time we were having this conversation and I was explaining what had happened and that I had the legal right to continue to wear the pin, Signa managed to maneuver herself to the place where she could deposit her ballot and I then pushed her out the door.

Rev. Dee Graham
Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We Are Definitely Pulling NO Votes @ The Polls

Terry in Gainesville is working the polls this morning. He says our side has lots of support. One man in a marjority Black precinct told him Barack Obama had called last night to say Vote No On 2.

I assume he's talking about one of our 340,000 Robo calls to Black voters over the past three days that includes the fact that Sen. Obama opposes the amendment.

Final Street Rally in Panama City!

Good Morning All!

I just wanted to pass a quick note on photo about our 4th and final street rally here in Panama City. It was by far the best in both location and participants. The final rally was attended by over 30 participants who held signs, cheered as cars went by hooking their horns, and provide Vote No on 2 post cards to those who asked for them. The rally, which started at 5 PM, was only to last about an hours, but majority wanted to stay longer and make more of a difference. So at 7 PM, we finally decided to call it a night.

The reactions that were received by those passing by, give me chill bumps. The sound of the horns reminded me of my days inAtlanta on I75/85 when I was driving to slow in the right hand lane. I have become extremely proud of the ever growing LGBT/Ally community here in Panama City, and Nadine, I think you would be as well.

My 2007 New Year resolution was to get involve more with the LGBT community in this area, and had I known what a great group this area has, I would have gotten involved a lot sooner! It has been a great opportunity to have the chance to work on such an important issue as Amendment 2, and I want to thank each of your for your continued support and dedication that you have put in throughout the entire state.

I will close with this: If form some reason we don’t win, it damn sure wasn’t for a lack of trying! Attached is a photo of some of the participants at our last rally. I am sure you can see the excitement on everyone’s face and know that not only a great time was had, but also they felt great about providing the truth on 2!

Michael G

Monday, November 3, 2008

3 Years in the Making

Dear VoteNoOn2 Partners, Teammates and Steering Committee Members,

It's now 11:45pm and about 15 minutes away from Nov. 4, 2008., a day that most of us have spent the last three years thinking was light years away.

I'll do my best to keep this short and sweet...thank you. :) Thank you to each of you for your hard work and your commitment. Thank you for being there during the bumps and bruises of this campaign, thank you for being cheerleaders and rabble rousers, and thank you for picking up your phones when we call!

Tomorrow and this week there will no doubt be a slew of acknowledgments, however the winds may blow, but I want you to know that right now, in this moment before history is made, that it has been my honor and privledge to work with each of you. I can't imagine where else I would have wanted to spend the last three years of my life and I look forward, whatever the outcome, to continue working with you to make this state and more fair and just place.

Sincerely and in Fairness,

Joseph Saunders
Field Director
Fairness for All Families/VoteNoOn2

Friday, October 31, 2008

UF Student Senate Votes To Oppose Amendment 2

Good Morning,

Today I am proud to inform you that the University of Florida student
senate has unanimously passed the "Resolution in Opposition to
Amendment 2". This is something that I worked very hard for. The
leaders of our community and campus could not deny the horrible nature
of this amendment! Although this is a victory to celebrate... the
battle is not over yet! I really would like to celebrate a true
victory, by defeating this amendment... Please, in these last days...
the campaign needs all the help we can get. Please come out and join
the efforts to fight this amendment (we can make the difference). Here
is one upcoming event that we really need volunteers for...

This Saturday (the last day for early voting) we will be working at
the polling locations talking with voters and giving out flyers about
Amendment 2... Saturday, Nov. 1st 9:00am-5:00pm (volunteer shifts:
9-12pm, 1-3pm, 3-5pm)... We are meeting @ "Pride Community Center of
North Central Florida"
Located at: 3131 NW 13th St. (in the Liberty Center)... You will
recieve materials and polling locations from there. Please join us!...
This will be a chance for us to reach and talk to people that we are
sure will be casting a vote in this election. Every single vote can
make the difference.... Join us this Saturday!

Thank You,
Alfredo Pelicci

Thursday, October 30, 2008

President of the Univ of FL and his wife oppose Amendment 2

Celebrate our diversity, vote down Amendment 2

We are writing to voice our opposition to Constitutional Amendment 2, the "Florida Marriage Protection Amendment."

We believe same sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples to express their love and faithfulness in a lifelong commitment to marriage. Amending Florida's Constitution with this prohibition signals an intolerance in our state, its institutions and its citizens.

The Florida we know and have come to love celebrates its diversity and broad-mindedness. Moreover, the responsibility of deciding who should marry rests with couples, churches and faiths; not the state or federal government.

We feel it would be a mistake to incorporate this prohibition into the Florida Constitution, a document with a hallowed tradition of expanding, rather than restricting, our rights and freedoms.

We urge our fellow Floridians to vote "no" on Amendment 2 and uphold our state's values of equality, fairness and tolerance.

Bernie and Chris Machen,

Amendment 2 hurts real families

Amendment 2 hurts real families

Published: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 8:57 p.m.

Protecting marriage sounds like a great idea. But Florida voters should stop and think about the real people who will be harmed if Amendment 2, known as the Marriage Protection Amendment, passes. It is profoundly anti-family and poses a threat to innocent and vulnerable people of both sexes and all ages.

As written, the first part of the amendment needlessly duplicates existing state laws banning same-sex marriage. However, the second part of the amendment would add new wording to the state's constitution stating that any relationship "treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof" will not "be valid or recognized." This vague language can be used against anyone who is in a relationship that is not a formal marriage. It can threaten innocent children growing up in these families as well.

Who are the women and men in domestic partnerships? Sponsors of the amendment would have you believe they are a threat to family values. Tell this to the elderly widows who have been lucky enough to find love for a second time around but cannot jeopardize social security or health insurance benefits by marrying the menwith whom they are spending their last years. Tell this to young parents who are raising families after losing partners or co-parents to whom they were not "validly married."

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse holds the David Levin Chair in Family Law at the University of Florida and is director of the Center of Children and Families at the Fredric G. Levin College of Law.

Amendment 2: Legal Nightmare for Domestic Violence Laws

Amendment 2: Legal Nightmare

As a longtime advocate for domestic violence survivors, I am deeply concerned that Amendment 2 could have a serious negative impact on domestic violence survivors who turn to the criminal or civil legal system for help.

CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) provides emergency shelter for families fleeing violence at home. Families who use our shelter are in some of the most dangerous situations imaginable. Over half of the women we shelter (and a few men) are not legally married to the person who abused them.

The so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" appears to intentionally block legal protections for unmarried Floridians using legally undefined language: "Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

What is the "substantial equivalent"? What will it mean for domestic violence laws that recognize people "living as if a family"? The courts will be forced to decide.

Much has been written about the danger Amendment 2 poses for firefighters, police officers, seniors and all unmarried couples who may lose essential health care benefits. However, we must also pay attention to how the language of this amendment may lead to serious consequences, especially for battered women.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

South Florida Carribean News says Vote NO on Amendment 2!

South Florida Carribean News says Vote NO on Amendment 2!


1. Declaration of rights         

2. Florida Marriage Protection Amendment

Marriage Amendment "Divisive" and "Underhanded"

Florida Voters Asked to Define Marriage
First Coast News - Jacksonville,FL,USA
"It is divisive and and it's actually quite underhanded," said Raymond who works for Fairness for All Families, an organization opposed to the marriage ...
See all stories on this topic

Monday, October 27, 2008

Turnout could affect same-sex marriage bans -

Phone bank volunteer Erika Spohrer, 36, in St. Petersburg, Fla., contacts voters to urge them to oppose Amendment 2. Phone bank volunteer Erika Spohrer, 36, in St. Petersburg, Fla., contacts voters to urge them to oppose Amendment 2.

By Jim Stem for USA TODAY
Turnout could affect same-sex marriage bans
Updated 9h 25m ago |  Comments 175  |  Recommend 13 E-mail | Save | Print | Reprints & Permissions | Subscribe to stories like this
Supporters of Proposition 8 rally Friday at St. Frances X Cabrini Church in Los Angeles.
By David McNew, Getty Images
Supporters of Proposition 8 rally Friday at St. Frances X Cabrini Church in Los Angeles.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The presidential race won't be the only close vote here next week.

A constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and deny recognition to any "substantial equivalent" has stirred pocketbook concerns among Florida's seniors and those with domestic partner benefits.

Voters in California and Arizona also will decide Nov. 4 whether to change their constitutions to prevent courts from overturning laws barring same-sex marriage.

The California Supreme Court threw out a ban on same-sex nuptials in May. Since then, more than 11,000 gay couples have wed, says UCLA's Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy. Polls show voters evenly divided.

Floridians are more focused on the presidential race. "When we have such monumentally critical issues as the cratering economy and the war, those seem so much more important," University of South Florida political scientist Susan MacManus says.

The issue has faded nationally since 2004, when voters in 13 states approved constitutional bans after the high court in Massachusetts made it the first to legalize gay marriage. There are now 27 states with amendments.

A decision this month by the Connecticut Supreme Court making it the third state where gays can wed lends urgency to the effort in Florida, says John Stemberger, head of, the main sponsor of Amendment 2 here. "There really is a national movement amongst judges and our opponents who do not appreciate the way marriage has always been and want to redefine not just marriage but the human experience," he says.

A Mason-Dixon poll this month found 55% favor the amendment, but Florida requires 60% to pass ballot measures.

Expected record turnout among blacks and young voters backing Democrat Barack Obama could cut both ways.

Most members of Tampa's African-American Beulah Baptist Institutional Church view gay marriage as "an abomination to God's word," minister W. James Favorite says. He rejects equating the struggle for gay rights with the civil rights movement.

Opponents hope young people, who a Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll showed are more tolerant of gay marriage, will help their side.

Much hinges on how voters interpret the amendment: "Inasmuch as a marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

A similarly worded measure was rejected in Arizona in 2006 amid fears that senior citizens would lose domestic-partner benefits. A version is on the ballot this year without mentioning unmarried couples.

The Census Bureau reports 435,492 unmarried-partner households in Florida. Nearly nine of 10 are heterosexual, says demographer Gary Gates of the Williams Institute. Many are widowed seniors who would lose Social Security or pension benefits if they remarried.

At least 86 companies and government agencies in Florida offer domestic-partner benefits such as health insurance to same-sex and heterosexual couples, says Brad Luna of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay advocacy group.

Backers of Florida's Marriage Protection Act say it would not affect them. Terry Kemple of the Community Issues Council, a conservative Christian group, says domestic partners get few benefits compared with married couples so theirs is not a "substantial equivalent."

Helene Milman, 68, and Wayne Rauen, 59, of Sunrise are convinced that after 25 years together, nine of them as registered domestic partners, the measure will strip them of protections. They are featured in a TV ad paid for by the group Say No to 2.

Milman shudders at the idea that she might have spent five hours alone on a hospital gurney as she awaited breast cancer surgery in 2003. Without his domestic partner I.D. card, Rauen might not have been able to stay by her side. If forced to marry, the widow would lose $13,000 in annual Social Security benefits.

"Why can't they let people live their own lives?" Rauen asks.

Kemple says conservative groups have no plans to challenge domestic partnerships in court.

The state's largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, and former Florida secretary of elder affairs Bentley Lipscomb, are among amendment opponents who point to Michigan as a warning. After voters approved a similar amendment there in 2004, the state's high court ruled it unconstitutional for government agencies to provide benefits to the partners of gay employees. Policy changes have allowed some benefits to continue for some employees.

"It should not be called the 'marriage protection act' but the 'domestic partners benefits exclusion act,' " says retired Lutheran pastor John Hayner of Clearwater. "It's mean-spirited."

Interviews reveal support for defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman but concern that the measure may go too far.

Haven Eaton, 61, a Tampa handyman, says he will vote no. "While I may not favor same-sex marriage," he says, "I don't think they ought to be denied benefits available to traditional marriage."

Contributing: Janet Kornblum in San Francisco

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Nadine Smith
Equality Florida