Waymon Hudson

Just in Time for the Holidays: An Anti-Gay Amendment

Filed By Waymon Hudson | December 13, 2007 4:21 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Florida, marriage amendment, Republicans

The ridiculously named group Florida4Marriage (a Karl Rovian name if I’ve ever heard one…) has announced that they have gathered the required 611,009 signatures needed to get the so-called “Marriage Protection Amendment” to the Florida Constitution on the November ‘08 ballot.

That’s right. At the time of year when they should be spreading good cheer and peace on earth, these conservative nut-jobs have claimed victory at the thought of writing discrimination into the Florida Constitution and trying to repeal domestic partnership benefits.

Happy birthday, Jesus.

John Stemberger, an Orlando lawyer who heads the coalition of groups sponsoring the proposal (which includes the Florida Catholic Conference, Florida Baptist Convention and the Florida Republican Party) says the amendment is needed to “prevent children from being raised in homosexual families.”

How very Anita Bryant of him.

"We believe kids need a mom and a dad, very simply," Stemberger said. "Moms and dads bring something different to the table. Dads are not optional."

It seems odd that Stemberger is so concerned at passing this vague and mean-spirited amendment in a state where same-sex marriage is already illegal, as well as adoption by gays and lesbians. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the measure is a political tool to bolster turnout in a presidential year when conservatives are disenfranchised with the Republican Party.

Just what I always wanted for Christmas-- a wedge issue.

The broadly-worded amendment is not only about gay marriage, however. It also takes aim at “the substantial equivalent thereof.”

In other words: domestic partnerships.

Much like what is happening in Michigan and Kentucky, the amendment would roll back benefits for not only same-sex couples, but for unmarried opposite-sex couples and the elderly as well. I guess the Florida4Marriage folks are so concerned with “protecting the sanctity of marriage” that they would happily throw seniors and families under the bus.

The strong efforts of two campaigns, Florida Red and Blue (a bi-partisan, independent political campaign) and Fairness for All Families (a coalition that includes seniors, business leaders, consumer groups and social justice organizations) will hopefully be enough to squash this attempt to add discrimination into the constitution. The two groups have both out-raised Florida4Marriage in funds and are hoping to join Arizona as the next state to push back these anti-gay efforts.

So Stemberger, Florida4Marriage, Florida Catholic Conference, Florida Baptist Convention and the Republican Party shouldn’t be surprised if they wake up on Christmas morning to find a lump of coal in their stockings for their attempt at using hatred and bigotry for political gain.

Also Posted on The Homo Politico.

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Information I have is that it will be on the jan 29 Primary election day.With Democrates being told not to vote it looks like the bill probaly wil pass.Even though the governer has no postion on the bill.

Actually, the measure still has a few fazes to go through before it is assured a spot in the voting booth. The ACLU is challenging the signatures (there are sure to be quite a bit of false/duplicate signatures, maybe enough to keep it off the ballot). But the date for the vote, should it make it, would be the Presidential election in November ‘08.

And while Governor Charlie Crist has said he is a "live and let live kind of guy", he signed the petition to get it on the ballot. To me, that says enough.

Hey now - we're trying to be the next Arizona! You can't steal our thunder! LOL

I feel your pain, brother. We've been fighting one off for four years now. This is the last year they can try it without starting over again from scratch.

Casey Willits | December 14, 2007 3:03 PM

With all due respect to Arizona, really we (Florida) are seeking to join Arizona, South Dakota, Oregon, Colorado, Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin as states that have mustered at least a 40%+1 opposition vote against an anti-LGBT marriage amendment.

I think the success that we are going to have in Florida is owed in part to the work done and the lessons learned in those states.