Vote No On 2 Campaign's Fan Box

Thursday, October 30, 2008

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.