The far right now has the signatures... Another spiteful amendment is heading to the ballot.
This time Florida will face a deceptively named and dangerous "Marriage Protection Amendment." They picked a fight in Florida in 2008 for one reason - Florida is a must win Presidential battleground. This is yet another cynical attempt to elect the most right wing candidates by ensuring prejudice drive their voters to the polls. That is why this isn't just a battle for Floridians. Everyone reading this has a stake in what happens at the polls in Florida come November.
But here's the good news. We can win and you can be a part of this historic victory.
A change in Florida law in 2006 means that ballot measures now require 60% of the vote to win. Not only did Arizona become the first state to beat one of these measures, but the majority of states facing similar amendments in 2006 were able to muster more than 40% opposition.
Polling across the country and in Florida shows that the far right has gone to the well too often and voters are not buying the attempt to demonize gay couples and attack unmarried people.
No one believes this will protect anyone's marriage. And it doesn't simply affirm Florida's longstanding ban on marriage equality for gay couples. It goes much further by taking away existing domestic partnership protections essential to unmarried Floridians - gay and straight. In Michigan, domestic partnership benefits have been stripped away and similar efforts are underway in Kentucky as a result of passing similar language.
That is why more than 200 state and local organizations including civil rights organizations and seniors, faith, business, campus and community groups across the state have banded together to form the Fairness for All Families Coalition.
We can win in Florida. We can defeat this in a battleground state with the whole world watching.
We can win by driving fairminded voters to the polls. We can win by harnessing this issue to motivate young voters who turnout in record number when these measures are on the ballot. We can win because Floridians are rejecting prejudice and they are waking up to the simple fact that they have a personal stake in keeping the government from becoming an obstacle in caring for the people they love.
So here is what you can do:
- Get your friends, retired relatives, ex-girlfriends, classmates...who live in Florida to sign the Pledge To Vote NO petition.
- Invite friends to join the FairnessForAllFamilies Facebook group.
- Send a note of encouragement to the students, seniors, staff, phone bankers, canvassers, and all the volunteers working hard to drive a final stake through the heart of these meanspirited political wedge issues that make it harder for our families to protect and care for each other.
This is your fight too.
Time to get in it.