Vote No On 2 Campaign's Fan Box

Thursday, January 31, 2008

THE NEWS-PRESS Editorial: Marriage amendment breeds bias


Marriage amendment breeds bias
Originally posted on January 31, 2008

We need stronger families, including traditional married couples and other kinds of families, in our state and nation.

But the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment will do nothing to further that goal.

The News-Press Editorial Board opposes the amendment. If the measure receives enough signatures by Friday, it will be on the November ballot. It will need 60 percent of the vote to pass.

This gay marriage ban employs the blunt instrument of a constitutional amendment to deal crudely with an issue that should be left to our elected lawmakers - who have already limited legal marriage to heterosexual couples.

Here's the ballot language:

"This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

So, it not only denies gays and lesbians the right to legal marriage, but bans even civil unions, which could allow same-sex couples the legal rights of married couples. It could even limit the rights of unmarried heterosexual couples.

If this amendment should pass, our constitution will be used to discriminate against a whole class of innocent citizens, to diminish human rights rather than expand them.

Family is more important than ever, but it takes many different forms today.

People of good faith may oppose gay marriage, but they are being used by this campaign to punish gays and lesbians in the false belief that this somehow strengthens traditional marriage.