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Monday, September 29, 2008

FOX 35 Orlando: Amendment 2 Campaigns Gear Up in Florida

FOX 35 Orlando
Amendment 2 Campaigns Gear Up In Florida
September 29, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) -- Campaigns on both sides of the proposed Amendment 2 are gearing up for a fight. Opponents want to convince voters to reject the measure which would define marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife. Supporters are traveling the state and getting the help from pastors who, in turn, would encourage churchgoers to vote "yes."

"Bad for Florida, bad for families, no on 2!" shouted protesters who staked out a spot near Amway Arena in downtown Orlando on Sunday. They came to express outrage toward Orlando Magic Owner Rich DeVos. DeVos recently gave $100,000 to a group seeking to alter Florida's Constitutionas it pertains to marriage.

"It's got people riled up out here," said Jennifer Foster who is opposed to the amendment.

She, and others, say that writing the definition of marriage into the state constitution would hurt business and impact not only same-sex couples, but also opposite-sex couples. "There's a lot of teachers, a lot of firefghters, a lot of normal hardworking people in Florida that are going to lose their benefits if Amendment 2 passes," said Foster.

John Stemberger, the state chairman of Yes2Marriage, said that claim is not true. He wants the "Florida Marriage Protection" amendment to stop legalized marriage, which has already happened in Massachusetts and California.

"Judges, with one stroke of a pen, redefined this fundamental human institution. We're being proactive, saying we're not going to wait around till some rogue judge strikes down marriage, we're going to protect marriage now."

In addition to defining marriage as the "legal union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife," the language in the measure also states that "no other legal action that is treated as marriage on the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

Read full text of Amendment 2: (After Clicking Links, Use Browser Back Button to Return to This Article)

Foster says it could impact anyone in a domestic partnership. "It will esentially challenge those exisiting benefits, in terms of healthcare coverage, pensions, social security."

Stemberger says that approach is designed to scare people. "It's a really pathetic tactic, but it's the only thing they can do to win. They've lost in twenty-seven states, so they're trying to find a way to win. Now, they're trying to scare our most vunerable and precious citizens, our seniors, saying they're going to lose Social Security benefits. It's utter legal nonsense."

Amendment 2 needs 60 percent of voter approval to pass. Along with Florida, California and Arizona will also vote on marriage amendments this November.

On the web:

Against Amendment 2 - VoteNoOn2

Against Amendment 2 -