Vote No On 2 Campaign's Fan Box

Friday, August 29, 2008

Vote No On 2 Campaign's Primary Day of Action a Big Success!

More than 250 volunteers hit the polls urging voters to vote NO on Amendment 2.

More than 250 strong, our Vote No volunteers fanned out over 20 cities across the state to talk to voters at the poll on Primary Election Day.

Our diverse group included retirees, students, union workers, grandmothers and many others. They were drawn from the more than 260 civil rights, faith, senior and campus and community organizations that make up the Fairness for All Families' Vote No On 2 Campaign. These volunteers and donors embody the far ranging impact of Amendment #2, the so-called "marriage protection" amendment.Vote NO On 2 volunteers take a water break in Jacksonville

Here's a sample of the posts volunteers sent to our Vote No On 2 Twitter.

  • Maria in Weston is excited to know that the other parents at her son's school are definitely voting NO. ... 13 minutes ago from web
  • Daniel and his daughter in Pompano are thankful that the rain passed quickly. ... 33 minutes ago from web
  • Bill in Gulfport says, "I'm glad I worked at the polls this morning and I'm looking forward to working and talking hard the next two months" ... about 1 hour ago from web
  • Nikki and Tof in Gainesville reported that they gathered 30 pledges this morning and they are going to continue working all day! ... about 2 hours agofrom txt
  • Greg in Miami has talked to 14 voters so far and 12 are definitely voting NO! ... about 2 hours ago from txt
  • Jan in Miramar found 13 voters who pledged to vote NO and signed up 2 volunteers! ... about 2 hours ago from web

Our Twitter feed is on the right side bar, but you can get direct updates from our Twitter feed anytime at

Beth Fountain educates voters in Pinellas County

Thank you to everyone who stepped up. Whether you volunteered for Primary Day of Action or not, we have dozens of opportunities for you to get involved in the effort to defeat Amendment #2. Here are just two:

1 - Phone Banking: We are setting up phone banks in key communities across the state and are using innovative new tools that allow you to join us from the comfort of your own home through virtual phone banks. Click here to register today.

2 - Online Campaign: Start you very own campaign! Your personal network is the best place to start in sharing the truth about the dangers of Amendment #2. We have all the tools you need to contact your friends, family, co-workers, and class mates. And, you can keep track of your success. Click here to launch your campaign!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

133 Volunteers So Far: Here's to a Strong Finish

Many of our 200+ dedicated volunteers were up and out at 6AM this morning to educate voters across the state about the harm Amendment 2 will cause if passed on Nov. 4th.

We're now in the last hours of our Primary Day of Action and 133 people have joined us at the polls so far. 52 people across the state endured the Florida mid-day sun for our 11am-2pm shift to warn Florida's voters about the dangers of Amendment 2. Of those 52, 19 had already joined us for the morning shift. Many of who are coming back for more for our third and final shift.

Who are these people? They're people like you who for many reasons understand the urgency to share the truth with as many voters as possible.

People like Tof and his wife Nicole in Gainesville who understand that Amendment 2 does nothing to protect their marriage, but threatens to take away health insurance and other benefits from their closest friend- a bus driver in Gainesville.

Or Kathyrn in Orlando who, as a lesbian woman, knows that it is imperative that members from all communities lead by example in sharing our message to Vote No On 2. As she said, "Simply put, if we don't do it, who will?"

Thanks to the hard work of people like Tof, Nicole, and Kathryn we're getting the word out that Amendment 2, the deceptively named "marriage protection" amendment, doesn't protect anyone's marriage but it will take away health insurance and family benefits from all unmarried couples - gay and straight.

We know that not everyone can take a day away from work. But you can still help! Today's action and our path to victory is paved through the support of people who share their treasures and talent in addition to their time.

Click here to sponsor a volunteer on Primary Day for just $18.71!

107 Volunteers, and The Day's Just Begun!

The first shift is just wrapping up and already we've seen 107 volunteers at the polls! In the next few minutes volunteers will be leaving their posts and making way for the next round.

From what we've heard so far voters are blown away when they hear exactly how dangerous the so-called Marraige "Protection" Amendment truly is. Many are so outraged that not only are they pledging to vote "NO", they're signing up to volunteer!

We can't wait to see what the rest of today will bring...

PS- If you're not joining us for today's Primary Day of Action there are two ways to support volunteers in the field.

1. Click here to sponsor a volunteer on Primary Day for just $18.71!

2. Send us encouraging "tweets" on our Twitter page by clicking here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

207 Volunteers, Tens of Thousands of Voters

In the next 8 hours hundreds of volunteers across the state will be crawling out of bed to the polls. At this late hour more than 200 volunteers will have taken a gigantic step forward on the path toward defeating Amendment 2.

By this time tomorrow teams from across the state will be celebrating a job well done after reaching TENS of THOUSANDS of voters from Pensacola to Key West. And this is just the beginning.

Immediately starting Wednesday, The Vote No On 2 Campaign is ready for you to start phone banking! Almost anytime, almost anywhere.

We know that Floridians are a fair-minded bunch and when people hear the truth about how this so-called Marriage "Protection" Amendment hurts all unmarried families, gay and straight alike, people get the message. We are charged with the task of spreading the word.

Florida is an immense state and we need to get creative to ensure that ALL Floridians know the truth about this insidious measure. A good place to start is at home in front of your computer.

All you need is a computer with an internet connection, a phone and a few hours.

Interested in phoning from home?

Click here to sign up for a virtual phone bank!

Get Cool VoteNoOn2 t-shirts, stickers, buttons, and more...

Things are really heating up!

We're only a day away from the big Primary Day of Action!

It looks like for the upcoming Primary Elections on Tuesday we'll have more than 200 volunteers across the state talking to voters about how Amendment 2 threatens critical protections that ALL of Florida's unmarried families rely upon.

That's big. Think about it...

Each volunteer will be in the field for at least 3 hours. Over the course of three hours at a moderately busy polling place, one volunteer can talk to about 50-70 voters. When you crunch the numbers our Vote No On 2 action team has the potential to reach over 10,00 SUPER voters over the course of a single day. Pretty amazing.

What's a super voter?

Well, it's pretty simple. Tuesday's ballot is focused only on local and state races, and Florida has a closed primary. It only makes sense that when someone votes during a primary election, they will vote in the general election.

So tomorrow is a magnificent opportunity for our coalition of more than 260 organizations (including the Florida ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, NAACP, Florida ACORN, etc.) to spread the truth about this insidious and mean-spirited ballot measure.

See you at the polls!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board: Time Has Come To Allow Gay Marriage

Time Has Come To Allow Gay Marriage
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
May 20, 2008

ISSUE: California marriage ruling reverberates in Florida.

The California Supreme Court got it correct, and the impact of that decision is reverberating across the country to Florida.

With last week's gutsy 4-3 ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry, there are now exactly two states in the country — Massachusetts is the other — that have legalized gay marriage. You can count on others following, as people start to realize this is a matter of equal rights that needs to be addressed.

Florida has a law banning same-sex marriage that is similar to the California law the court rejected. It now seems inevitable the Florida law will be challenged in the courts.

While many oppose same-sex marriage on concerns that it would undermine the traditional family structure, it is difficult to find concrete reasons to deny gay and lesbian couples basic rights that heterosexual couples have. The nation has changed in recent decades — interracial marriage was banned in certain states little more than half a century ago — and the time is right for a national discussion on allowing all committed, loving couples the legal right to marry or unite in some legally equivalent civil union, no matter their sexual orientation.

The California ruling has heated up the already boiling rhetoric concerning Amendment 2 on the Florida ballot in November, which would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. Florida4Marriage, leading the charge for Amendment 2, predictably used the California ruling to raise the fear quotient, stating ". . . the threats of homosexual activist judges is a real one."

Fact is, same-sex marriages or unions should be a matter of equal rights and equal protection, rather than becoming an issue of what could happen to the family structure. Or fear.

That's not what this ruling is about. The traditional sanctioning, and elevation, of marriage comes in houses of worship, not the county marriage license office.

What's at stake, instead, is the legal recognition of unions by people. It's time that Florida governments offer legal protection and recognition to those same-sex couples who apply.

BOTTOM LINE: Time is right to extend equal rights to all.

Sun Sentinel Editorial: Constitutional Ban Would Protect Bigotry, Not Marriage


Constitutional Ban Would Protect Bigotry, Not Marriage
Michael Mayo News Columnist
May 20, 2008

Two recent court decisions give ammunition to both sides of the gay marriage debate in Florida.

Proponents of an amendment banning same-sex marriage point to last week's ruling by the California Supreme Court allowing gays to wed and say, "See, these activist judges are exactly why we need to vote a ban into the Florida Constitution."

And gay-rights activists look to a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling, which ends certain benefits for domestic partners, and say, "See, this is why the ballot proposal is so dangerous — these bans don't just stop gay marriages but also strip benefits that have already been established."

They both might be right.

So there'll be a lot at stake on the Florida ballot come Nov. 4, when Floridians will decide on a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Amendment 2 needs 60 percent approval to pass.

State law already prohibits same-sex marriage.

"What happened in California can happen in Florida overnight," said John Stemberger, who heads the Yes2Marriage group pushing for the ban.

"We're more concerned about the Michigan ruling because it shows that you can have benefits taken away," said Stephen Gaskill, spokesman for Florida Red and Blue, which opposes the amendment. "The supporters always say that's not their intention, but there's a tremendous bait-and-switch at play here."

Stemberger argues that nobody has lost benefits because of the Michigan ruling and it's had the practical effect of opening benefits to more people because of revised eligibility criteria. He also said the Florida ballot language would not impact existing rights or benefits of same-sex domestic partners.

If Amendment 2 passes, the constitution would read: "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."

It's that second clause that has so many people concerned. Would it mean the end of benefits like health insurance for gay partners? How would it impact the 4,109 registered domestic partnerships in Broward County, most of whom are same-sex couples?

"We didn't want to get in this benefits argument," Stemberger said.

Said Gaskill: "Then why didn't they just end the sentence with, 'Marriage is the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife.' He's never given a proper accounting of what the 'substantial equivalent thereof' means."

Mathew Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, wrote the ballot language. He said he crafted it so that Florida would not have to recognize same-sex civil unions from Vermont, which he called "a parallel system to marriage."

"It's not designed to eliminate domestic partnerships in Florida," Staver said Monday. Fine. Then why not spell that out with an extra sentence. Something like, "This provision shall have no impact on existing benefits or rights."

"There was no need to," Staver said.

"The irony is this language protects domestic partnerships because it's not even close to the substantial equivalent of marriage," said Stemberger. "It's crystal clear."

Sure. As clear as mud.

I don't like anything about Amendment 2, starting with its title: "The Florida Marriage Protection Amendment."

A more accurate title: "The Florida Marriage Exclusion Amendment."

As a married man, I still don't get how banning two consenting adults of the same sex from marrying protects marriage. If gays were allowed to wed, I'd still be married, and other heterosexuals could still marry. It would just open the marriage pool to more people.

Instead of blocking others' options, I just wish the people behind this amendment would concentrate on their own lives.

Like antiquated laws barring interracial marriages, a ban on gay marriage doesn't protect the institution. It just prolongs bigotry.

Michael Mayo's column runs Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Read him online weekdays at Reach him at or 954-356-4508.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Miami Herald: Amendment 2 bad for South Florida business

Amendment 2 bad for South Florida business

I'm a ''glass-is-half-full'' kind of guy. The way I see it, there are few places in the

nation that for decades have offered, and continue to offer, the opportunities for business growth coupled with the superior lifestyle we enjoy here in South Florida. That being said, our state currently is facing major challenges in regard to job growth, real estate, education and other key issues. The way we tackle those challenges will determine our well-being for years to come.

The solutions to our current problems will be determined by responsible public policy and an intelligent vision for the future that lights the way for private investment in our state. South Florida, and the state as a whole, must be able to attract new businesses as well as the best and brightest talent necessary to assure those businesses will succeed.

A proposed amendment to Florida's constitution on the November ballot could adversely impact our business development efforts. Florida Amendment 2, the so-called marriage protection amendment that seeks to define marriage as ''the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife'' and states that ''no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized'' is an example of unnecessary government intrusion in people's personal lives that could diminish Florida's ability to attract businesses to expand or relocate here.


If passed, Amendment 2 could make companies and municipalities that currently offer benefits to unmarried employees the targets of legal action. It could damage morale among current employees and dissuade new job candidates from moving here. The Florida Legislature's Office of Economic & Demographic Research, which looks at the economic impact of political amendments on Floridians, cautions that the proposed amendment may result in higher costs of providing public services and benefits and increased litigation costs.

On the educational front, Amendment 2 could impede hiring efforts at the state's colleges and universities, thus contributing to the alarming ''brain drain'' already underway.

Faced with extensive fall-out from the housing bubble, challenges to our educational systems on every level and the need to create long-range policies for transportation and the environment, among other crucial issues, we must ask ourselves what can be gained by supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage that may have many unintended consequences.

Companies considering expansion or relocation to South Florida want to know about market demographics, education, business opportunities, tax structure, incentives, cost of land and a host of other important facts that impact their bottom line. They look for critical information that Florida is a superior place to live, work and do business.


I've lived in Miami for 50 years, and I'm as certain as ever before that we will keep our perch as one of the most desirable places in the nation to do business. By defeating Amendment 2 in November and focusing instead on positive business development efforts, we send a clear message to potential new businesses that this is the place where they want to be.

Hank Klein is executive director for business development, Cushman & Wakefield in Miami. He is past chairman of Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, immediate past vice chair of Miami-Dade College Board of Trustees and on the boards of Goodwill Industries, Dade Community Foundation and the Performing Arts Center Trust.

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