Vote No On 2 Campaign's Fan Box

Monday, October 13, 2008

Florida voters nearly tip the scale on Amendment 2

Florida voters nearly tip the scale on Amendment 2

By Charlie Foxfield

In less than a month, Florida voters will choose the fate of a proposed constitutional ban that would limit marriages to be only between a man and a woman when they vote on November 4. The results will have a gargantuan effect on Florida’s gay community.

Opponents of the ban are fighting to keep it under the 60 percent threshold the measure would need for success.

“It’s just right at the razor’s edge,” said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, a state-wide gay rights group.

The ban, known as Amendment 2, lacks the support needed according to recent polls. However, the margin is slim. 58 percent of respondents polled by the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times conducted from Sept. 14-17 supported the amendment. 37 percent opposed it and 5 percent were undecided. The poll had a 3.5 percent margin of error. Another poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University showed 55 percent support and 41 percent opposition.

News of the results will hopefully motivate Florida’s LGBTQ community to continue their fight to defeat the amendment.

“Polling does show a recent decline in support for this amendment, and I think that’s a result of the massive state-wide effort going on,” said Smith. “The fact that they haven’t hit the 60 percent mark in any of the polling is significant. It’s great news, it’s important, but it is no means a reason for us to hold back. This is a leave-nothing-on-the-field moment for fair-minded Floridians.”

The battle for equality mirrors that against Proposition 8 in California. Advocates of Amendment 2 consider the poll results a victory, showing they’re striking within the margin of error to get the amendment added to Florida’s constitution in November.

“It shows this is going to be an extremely close race,” said John Stemberger, founder of Florida4Marriage, a conservative group to the Orlando Sentinel. “Our people are very motivated. Our supporters understand the importance of the issue.”