Waymon Hudson

Hate and Bigotry Pass in Florida

Filed By Waymon Hudson | November 05, 2008 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Amendment 2, Florida, Florida Republican Party, Marriage Protection Amendment

Florida's Amendment 2, the dangerous and deceptive "Marriage Protection" Amendment, has passed. A supermajority of Floridians, 62% (4,662,558) versus just 38% (2,851,598), has decided that our state needs to enshrine hate, bigotry, and homophobia in our state constitution.

And my heart breaks. I woke up today in Florida with fewer rights than I went to bed with.

Even more frightening is the vague wording of the Amendment that has passed- the words "substantial equivalent thereof"- which many fear will be used by the intolerant, hate-filled right to strip away the most basic protections of the LGBT community (and all unmarried Floridians), like hospital visitation, healthcare, and domestic partnerships.

But Amendment 2 is not the only act of bigotry Florida showed last night...

Not only did Florida choose to add hate language, voters also failed to remove outdated, racist language from the state constitution. Voters rejected Amendment 1, an anti-discrimination measure designed to repeal a 1926 law that allowed the Legislature to ban Asian immigrants from owning land. It failed 52% to 48%.

So to sum it up- Florida failed to take out racist, hateful language and added more in.

It is a sad day in the Sunshine State. How did we get here as a state and as a nation? How have reached a point where we can vote to deny even the most basic respect and rights of people.

I thought I had prepared myself to lose. I knew this was an uphill battle- that the hard work that I and so many others had done might not pay off. We had a huge task- the amendment was bankrolled by the religious right- including Florida Family Action, Focus on the Family, the Florida Catholic Conference and the Florida Baptist Convention- and the Florida Republican Party, which gave well over $350,000 to the fight (take note, Log Cabin Republicans- that is your party).

But I didn't know it would feel like this. I had no idea that this would cut me to the core. I thought it would feel like an intellectual loss, another setback in the fight. But this is personal. This loss, this voice of a majority that has decided to attack me and my relationship, is more painful that I can put into words.

I know we have more hard work ahead. We will have to roll up our sleeves and fight the zealots who will try to take away more of our rights. There will be nasty court cases- with more nasty, homophobic rhetoric- as the same people who claimed this wouldn't affect domestic partnerships try and steal even these few rights. We will stand and fight. We will keep going.

But today, I mourn. I mourn not just our political loss, but the loss of respect and pride I had in our people. I mourn that those around me have so much hate in their hearts that they would actively vote to strip away my rights. I mourn that today I am less a Floridian than my neighbor.

I mourn that hate has won in Florida.

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Honey bunny, I'm right there with you. The only thing keeping me optimistic right now is that there are 4 million absentee and provisional ballots to be counted in California.

What are the ways that we can fight this? Do any of these states have restrictions on bringing up the same issue repeatedly?

Like, can we put something on the ballot in 2012.

I, for one, would like to quit playing defense and go after our rights. I would like groups like the HRC to start demanding equality.

I don't want to wait for a supreme court decision. However, hopefully Obama will put some left leaning judges there so that the future will be less gloomy.

I want a game plan now. I am sick of waiting for bigoted Americans to "get it" or to just "be nice" and realize that all I am doing is loving someone.

That's the best question I've heard all day, womyn!

Sorry, Serena...we lost here too. BUT This is going to be a wonderful catalyst to ACTIVATE...all those who just sat on their b*** and sent $$ to EQ CA with the Assumption that they could run a decent campaign. THEY DIDN't COULDN't and LOST big time!

SO lets get out there folks and get ACTIVATED. Here in California we need to keep demonstrations growing so the public will understand just how much damage was done by the passage of Prop H8. That will lend validity to the bravery of our Supreme Court, who does have the duty, I think to return full civil rights to everyone in California by invalidating Prop H8.

But we also need to get a fully inclusive ENDS passed, DOMA and DADT repealed and NEVER SHUT up again about EQUALITY for all.

Sorry, Waymon...been busy here..first time I could respond you your Florida situation...MORE LATER...Going to demonstration here in our little town in an hour!!

My 81 year old Grandmother just called to tell me how happy she was about the outcome of the Presidential election last night; but when I wasn't mirroring her enthusiasm, she knew. She said "But I'm also so upset about that bad amendment here; aren't there people I can call to let them know how upset I am about this?"

The places I have known for almost my whole life just aren't quite the same today. It just hurts.

I am still numb from the outcomes here.

From what I have seen 70% of black voters voted for prop 8 here. Way to go folks - celebrate your ultimate victory in the realm of civil rights by denying civil rights to another.

Of course we can't forget that the biggest share of the money to "protect traditional marriage" came from Mormons - a religion whose roots lie in polygamy.

Last night I was disappointed. Today disappointment is giving way to seething anger.

I can't even describe how I feel today. With all the work we put into defeating this hateful amendment, but also realizing the bigotry in central and north Florida, I thought the vote would be ever so slightly under 60%.

Soon that slimy bottom-feeding scumbag John Stemberger and his cronies will try to strip away whatever few rights/benefits we have. Right now we need to start planning for that day. It will be time for some LGBT ass kickin' of those hateful bigots.

Adam Singer | November 6, 2008 3:06 PM

While it was shocking to see FL go blue, it is not surprising that the amendment passed. I moved down five years ago from NYC and am continually disappointed by this state.

With so many problems we face in Florida the last thing we need is a reason for people to chose to move elsewhere. Florida will not overcome its difficulties by restricting or threatening the rights of its residents.

Frank Jay Hall | November 6, 2008 5:59 PM

I feel the same way. I wasn't surprised by the loss in Florida. It's a state full of hate for LGBT people. The loss in California was shocking to me as well as the margins of the loss in Florida. Nearly 2/3 of our fellow citizens in FL think it's just fine to deny us the same rights they enjoy. They voted for discrimination against their own fellow citizens. It's depressing. Many thought they were doing it in the name of God, but they don't realize that we are God's creation just as much as they are. I am trying to focus on Obama's win and hope he has the chance to pick many open minded justices to the Supreme Court where this all will eventually need to be decided some day. In the mean time we just need to keep on fighting and educating our fellow citizens that we deserve equality.

I'm watching the "No On Prop. 8 Protest" march on goodasyou.org and I have to wonder - what are Floridians doing to massively protest Amendment 2? Anything?

I totally agree with Jordan! I was wondering to myself after seeing the CA protests why we aren't in the streets? My partner and I contributed a lot of money to both organizations that were "fighting" this amendment. Today I visited the websites of the organizations we helped, saynoto2.com ran by Florida Red and Blue and votenoon2.com, to see what we can do next to fight and they haven't even changed their homepages. Why aren't they still organizing?

I feel like someone ripped out my guts. The same people that helped select our great new president also stripped us of our rights. Many of these people never voted before and probably will never again. Amendment 8, funding for Community Colleges, didn't pass but the amendment to strip us of our Civil Rights passed without a problem. Don't tell me we live in the land of the free!


Like you, i've been to saynoto2.com and the other sites that opposed Amendment 2 and it's like a virtual ghost town. It's like they all collectively said "We've lost. We've given up."

Well, NOT ME.

Why must we wait for our GLBTQ leaders here in Florida to move, glacially slow - especially in MY county - to start fighting back against this horrendous attack on our civil rights when it's abundantly clear that it's up to us to carry on the fight?

Again, NOT ME.

I'm not waiting. If we're to do what the marchers in tonight's march in Los Angeles did, then it's up to us to do it. We must all organize in some way to fight back and MARCH on Tallahassee and let our voices be heard that we're not going to lay down and let the truck of homophobia run us over.

To quote a popular character from television, "We do the same thing we always do. We fight em' till we can't."

So how about it?

I'm for it! I don't know where you live but I live in Davie, suburb of Fort Lauderdale, and there is a HUGE gay community living in Wilton Manors and they are doing NOTHING! I went to a fund raiser on Wednesday and partner started talking about amendment 2 and everyone just acted defeated. Boys and Girls it is time to do like Nancy Sinatra, put on those boots and START WALKING!

The LCR is far more concerned with the fact that more gays voted for McCain than voted for Bush than they are that these amendments passed. It's shameful.

Alex, I respectfully don't give a rat's a$$ what the LCR is concerned about.

I am extremely concerned about the fact that the Florida Constitution will now discriminate against us. I am furious that HRC gave $3.4 million dollars to fight Prop 8 and a measly $120,000 to fight Amendment 2. I am appalled that every time I watched TV news or went to a blog, both before and after the election, the only marriage initiative discussed was Prop 8.

Where are our anti-Amendment 2 groups? Why did I only get 1 email that we will somehow continue the fight in Florida? Why haven't we heard whether Florida Red and Blue is going to pursue their lawsuit about the Yes on 2 anonymous/illegal donations?

I was getting a ton of daily emails before the election about the need for contributions and assistance needed to fight Amendment 2. I spent a lot of time and money fighting this discriminatory amendment. Now that the Amendment passed I feel like the unwanted stepchild. And I am well aware that that slimy, bottom-feeding scumbag John Stemberger and his cohorts will quickly go after the few domestic partner rights and benefits we have.

First-class taxpayer. Second-class citizen.

Just an update for everyone-

I'm doing more digging into options and a "what's next" plan for Florida. I'm also looking into what's going on with the lawsuit against Yes2Marriage.

While I may be hurt, angry, and disappointed- I AM NOT DEFEATED.

We will keep fighting, no matter how uphill this battle may seem.

Waymon, glad to "see" you back.

Jewish mother instinct told me it would take a couple of days for all of us to get thru those initial emotions then regroup.

WE will NOT be defeated. We WILL continue to fight. WE WILL WIN OUR EQUALITY. It is time to ACT UP and FIGHT OUT LOUD.

First-class taxpayer. Second-class citizen.

While researching this amendment, I uncovered the disturbing but true motivation why a Floridian named John Stemberger wrote this amendment and how he got it pushed through the Florida Legislature. The truth is that John Stemberger happens to be Orlando’s self-proclaimed Top Personal Injury Attorney. His privately owned Personal Injury Law Firm will be the firm who is retained to defend the state against the class action law suit. He and his firm stand to make millions from the State of Florida to defend the state against something he pushed through the Legislature. I am continuing to look in to which Representative in the Florida Legislature worked with him as you can guarantee that one of our Representatives is going to also be caught with their hand in the cookie jar on this one. This was a completely self-serving act just to generate millions of dollars for Orlando’s self-proclaimed Top Personal Injury Attorney John Stemberger.

Help us find out about John Stemberger! Post what you know so we can start a file on him.

Waymon, Kevin and everyone else who want to fight back on Amendment 2...

Is there anyway (other than posting on this site) where we can keep in touch with one another? I'd like to offer my e-mail and my messenger contact and start doing this at a grassroots level.

Dianne: You've got great instincts.

Kevin: Great find!

Also, this is tangently related to us - it's more of a Prop. 8 thing but we could use it as well. It's a Wordpress blog someone's started to get the IRS to revoke the Mormon church's tax-exempt status due to their support for Prop. 8. The URL is at http://lds501c3.wordpress.com/

Spread the word!

"Fight em' till we can't"

Kevin Clark | November 9, 2008 1:41 PM

Hi Jordan,

Sorry I didn't respond to your post sooner. My partner has been talking to many of our communities leaders and professionals about amendment 2 and ways around it. On Facebook I joined a group interested in boycotting companies that supported "anti-gay" legislation and I'll post the info for all to see once I get it. My email address is kclark@appi1.com and my facebook profile is http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=675187951&ref=name


Just got this e-mail...

From: South Florida Church Protests
Date: November 7, 2008 12:09:07 PM EST
To: david@eqfl.org, brian@eqfl.org, wtvjdesk@nbc.com
Subject: Fw: BREAKING NEWS: GAY RIGHTS PROTEST - Sunday Nov. 9, 2008 at Bethel Romanian Baptist Church in Hollywood


Your rights have been taken away!

We are a group of everyday people who believe in equal rights for all and do not believe that there is a place for religious legislation banning the right for homosexuals to marry or any other attempts to further discriminate against gays, lesbians, transgendered and bisexual citizens.

Our first protest will be held Sunday, November 9, 2008 at the Bethel Romanian Baptist Church at 1855 McKinley Street in Hollywood, Florida at 8:30am. We realize this is early, however if the Baptists can wake up early and go to church then we have to do the same. The Bethel Romanian Baptist Church congregation is a significant financial supporter of Amendment No. 2.

We suggest that you car pool or walk to this event as we expect a turnout of over 2,000 members of our community and those who support us. It is your job to get the word out, to show up and to make your voice heard.

We ask that you keep this demonstration peaceful and respectful when confronting the congregation of this church. Please bring bullhorns, megaphones and anything else you can think of to get your point across. The police will most likely have to get involved to control the traffic flow to and from the surrounding area of the church.


Sign Suggestions:

Say NO to Discrimination
Separation of Church and State
Your God is not my God
We Will Fight for Our Rights!
Equal Rights for All
Tax All Churches
Down with Discrimination
HATE is a 4-letter word
We Are Here To Stay
Don't Discriminate

To name a few... and anything else you can think of.

Come out and support us. The more that we are in their face, the more they have to listen to us.

Awesome stuff, eh?

My contact info is jbritt_rochella@bellsouth.net

This is really interesting! I got this email too (I just found it in my spam box- which make sme mad since I would have loved to cover this and go!).

Anyone who goes to this event or is organizing more, please let me know! I'd love pictures and information on who is putting this action together!

Just wanted to let everyone on the thread know I posted a new blog about Florida that might be of interest:

The Fight in Florida: Where do we go from here?

Christians being charged with hate Crime because they feel only Christians have rights!
They bashed a young woman in the face and feel so righteous in doing so, because their Belief tells them it is punishable by death and that it is ok to kill take away rights and harm Gay people!

Religion and Government of human rights do not go together!

They spend Millions on trying to stop human rights when they should be helping the Poor in USA and other places. Churches should be Taxed by State and Gov like any other business.Just think what else they do with that money go on Trips around the world buy TV stations you name it. They are in Business and its called the God Business Lets Tax the Churches for every Dollar made!

I think its a good idea and just think we could get our nation back on track with all that Loving God Money.

Don't look so Loving to me using Gods money to foster hate and Government control of human rights!

Whatever happened to Churches being welcoming,Loving? I say its dirty hate money and we TAX them ALL!


John Stemberger and his law firm proved what it’s all about, money. He who has the most money wins. Personally I think we need to move away from using the words “gay marriage” or “marriage”. It’s too volatile to the religious. They won the day because they used the power of the pen and had money. The wording in Amendment 2 was so eloquent that lawyers, the ACLU and government could not make heads or tales before sending it out to vote. (My partner now uses “equivalent there of” in much of his paperwork it keeps everyone guessing). How ambiguous can you get? How do you think the less educated common person who has never read a legal document interpreter what was written. All they see is “marriage protection” or “ one man one woman”. They could care less about any other words written. My suggestion and this would be for all states is to right an Amendment to vote in (which we could do in 2 years) that is much more eloquent and far more ambiguous than Amendment 2. There has got to be a gay writer and lawyer and a linguist that could accomplish this. If not were doomed. Every time we have tried to pass something with fan fair the opposing team brings out the big guns. We need a Trojan horse. I’m just as angry. But I believe a plan of action more than kicking and screaming could possibly work better. Don’t get me wrong, kicking and screaming will get us attention but now we have been moved to the bottom of the political food chain. The white, over religious, hetero male and female, so called American will always need a group to pick on. The bottom of the food chain are the easy targets since they have less rights than themselves. I believe creating a new amendment in the long run will be cheaper than giving our money to the lawyers who are hoping for a fight. I have fought all my life, but I really need it in writing so that taking it to court is an absolute win.