Vote No On 2 Campaign's Fan Box

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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Comments: (175)

Nadine Smith
Equality Florida

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stand with Barack Obama & Vote NO on Amendment 2.

(Please share this with your members, friends and family. Defeating Amendment 2 will protect our health insurance benefits.)

Vote NO On Amendment 2

Amendment 2 threatens to take away health insurance benefits and other legal protection from all unmarried Floridians.

Stand with Barack Obama and Vote NO on Amendment 2.

"Florida Amendment 2 does nothing to bring people together and could, in fact, keep people apart or deny millions of Floridians access to basic rights and legal protections. "

- Senator Barack Obama

Civil rights leaders across the state and nation are speaking out AGAINST Amendment 2.

Don't be fooled. The so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" doesn't protect anyone.

In fact, it will TAKE AWAY health care benefits and other protections for ALL unmarried Floridians including seniors, firefighters and government employees. More than 260 civil rights, faith, seniors, student, union, and community organizations are working right now to DEFEAT Amendment 2.

Stand with the Florida NAACP and Vote NO On Amendment 2

"Amendment 2 is just another worn out election trick to divide voters and distract us from real priorities.

We are tired of these attempts to manipulate black voters in presidential election years. While we may have different opinions on the issue of marriage, we are absolutely united in opposition to adding an amendment to the Florida Constitution that would take away vital protections for all unmarried people."

- Adora Obi Nweze, Florida NAACP President

Stand with Civil Rights Leaders and Vote No On Amendment 2

"(This Amendment) stink of the same fear, hatred, and intolerance

I have known in racism and in bigotry."

- Civil Rights Leader, Congressman John Lewis

Stand with Faith Leaders and Vote No On Amendment 2

"The Black Church has been part of a movement that has expanded the constitutional rights of other human beings not restricted them. This is an attempt to use the constitution to restrict peoples rights. For moral, legal and religious reasons, the Black Church must be at the heart of the movement intending to affirm human beings not to deny them rights and privileges."

- Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

Stand with Our Elected Leaders and Vote No On Amendment 2

Stand with Congressmen Kendrick Meek and Alcee Hastings.

Stand with Sen. Tony Hill, Rep. Audrey Gibson.

Stand with Rep. Joseph Gibbons, Chair of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators

We Oppose Amendment 2

NAACP of Florida

Florida Nurses Association

National Black Justice Coalition Action Fund

League of Women Voters

AFL-CIO Florida

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

ACLU of Florida

Equality Florida

FL Consumer Action Network

Florida United Church of Christ

Florida Alliance for Retired Americans

Florida College Democrats

Florida Education Association

People for the American Way

Pride at Work, AFL-CIO

Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, FL (UULMF)

United Church of Christ Florida (UCC)

(full list at

Paid Political Advertisement Paid for by Fairness for All Families

P.O. Box 13184, St. Petersburg, Florida 33733

Friday, October 24, 2008

Apple Opposes Discriminatory Constitutional Amendment

No on Prop 8

October 24, 2008

Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of
$100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California
companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees' same-
sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person's fundamental
rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by
their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue,
rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out
publicly against Proposition 8.

FL Amendment 2 fate lies with black voter turnout - St. Petersburg Times

St. Petersburg Times
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Amendment 2 fate lies with black voter turnout

By Robert Farley, Times staff writer
In print: Friday, October 24, 2008

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Campaign 2008

Whether Florida bans gay marriage in its state Constitution could be decided by how much presidential candidate Barack Obama drives turnout among African Americans, according to a new poll underwritten by a trio of news organizations.

Amendment 2 teeters on the edge of passage, with 59 percent of likely voters saying they would support it, results from a St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald statewide poll show. The measure needs 60 percent approval to pass.

Pollsters think voters like Carrie Wynn of Largo will tip the scales in favor of Amendment 2.

Wynn is an African American woman, a registered Democrat, and she voted early, for Obama. She also voted for Amendment 2.

"I don't believe in gay marriage," said Wynn, 71, who participated in the poll of 800 likely voters from Monday through Wednesday. "One man, one woman. That's what I believe in."

Although only 48 percent of Democrats overall favor the amendment, some 69 percent of black voters support it.

"Its promise lies in the fact that you are going to see an increase in turnout among African-American voters," said Kellyanne Conway, president of the Polling Company, which often works for Republican candidates. Her firm conducted the poll with SEA Polling and Strategic Design, a firm that works with Democrats.

The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.5 percent, showed the gay marriage ban, which mirrors what is already in state law, has a majority of support across most demographic groups, be it Republicans, independents, blacks, whites, Hispanics, young or old, male or female.

Women supported the measure slightly less than men, 56 percent to 62 percent; though working women like registered nurse Cathie McKenna of Lakeland were even less likely to support it (50 percent).

"I don't think there's any need for it right now," said McKenna, 53. "I don't think government has any business being there."

She fears the amendment could cause medical care and hospital visitation problems for heterosexual couples who aren't legally married. McKenna, who has been married to her husband for 33 years, said she also supports gay marriage.

The strongest support comes from people who attend church frequently, particularly self-described born-again Christians like Branden Grammer, 31, of Port Richey.

"I'm a born again Christian," Grammer said. "That's my belief. I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman."

Some 75 percent of Republicans such as Ronald Brackin, 52, of Citrus Park, back the measure; 20 percent oppose it.

Brackin, a meter mechanic, said he's "tired of people shoving the alternative lifestyle down our throats." Adults have the right to make any decision they want about their lifestyle, he said, but allowing gay marriage sends the wrong message to kids.

Cloie Joyce, 76, of Lakeland, a retired widow, admitted some conflicted feelings. But when she voted early, she voted against the amendment.

"That's a really touchy subject," Joyce said. "I'm definitely not gay and I don't plan on being gay. According to the Bible, I don't think it's right. But I have a couple friends who are gay. And I have family that's gay. … I have never run into a gay person who wasn't a sweet kind of person."

"That's between them and God," she said.

59 Percentage of voters who say they approve amending the Florida Constitution to define marriage as "the legal union of 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."

Note: The poll was conducted among 800 voters Oct. 20, 21 and 22. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

[Last modified: Oct 23, 2008 11:29 PM]

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Nadine Smith
Executive Director
Equality Florida
PO Box 13184,
St. Petersburg FL 33733
Ph: 813-870-3735
Fax: 727-499-6925

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