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Friday, October 10, 2008

The League of Women Voters of Florida Says NO 2

The League of Women Voters of Florida Says NO 2
540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, FL 32301-2506
Voice: 850/224-2545 Fax: 850/222-4485

October 10, 2008

The League of Women Voters of Florida opposes the so-called Florida Marriage Protection Amendment, which will be included in the ballot for the November 2008 election, because it would:

(1) Prohibit all domestic partnerships (between opposite sex and same sex partners), as well as gay marriage;
(2) Discriminate against life partners who wish to enjoy the legal, economic and administrative benefits of a legally recognized relationship but cannot or do not wish to marry;
(3) Contravene accepted League of Women Voters principles of social, economic and health justice.

The language of the “Marriage Protection” amendment precludes recognition of any legal union that is “treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof” other than heterosexual marriage. By its terms, this language prohibits legal recognition of both gay marriage and any form of domestic partnership, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex.

President Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti states that “The League of Women Voters has long held that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination. The League of Women Voters of Florida believes that all life partners in Florida should be able to advocate for their loved ones in health care settings and participate in end-of-life decisions. By prohibiting recognition of any legal union that is treated as marriage or its substantial equivalent, the so-called “Marriage Protection” amendment would prevent this.”

The impact of this proposed constitutional prohibition would be far-reaching in its social and economic impact because of the many legal, economic and health benefits conferred by legally recognized marriage and domestic partnerships. For instance, invalidation of domestic partnerships affects the right of individuals to include life partners in health care insurance coverage, to advocate for loved ones in a hospital setting and to be consulted in health care and end-of-life decisions.

Said Vice-President Terry A. Coble, “The League believes that our government should promote social and economic justice. Both marriage and domestic partnership confer significant economic and legal benefits. The “Marriage Protection” amendment would prevent people from entering into private relationships that protect them economically and legally.”