Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gay Marriage Ban Makes Florida Ballot - grrrr

Florida's secretary of state announced yesterday that the anti-gay group Florida4Marriage has collected enough signatures to force their anti-gay marriage amendment onto the state ballot next year. Equality Florida and the ACLU will challenge the petition in court. Those opposing the amendment claim it could not only ban gay marriage but could repeal domestic partners benefits statewide, including those for straight couples.

The amendment says, "Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

Florida requires 611,009 valid signatures to place an item on the ballot. Florida4Marriage collected 612,192 according to the Secretary of State, some of those signatures till require verification.

Florida4Marriage said it will continue to collect and submit signatures right up until the January 29 deadline.

The ballot measure was written by the conservative Christian law firm of Liberty Counsel.

"This is an historic day and the next big step to permanently protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said its chair Mathew Staver.

"In November, Floridians will have the opportunity to protect marriage so that it will never be destroyed by the stroke of a judge’s pen. Protecting marriage is the best investment we can make in the lives of children and the future of Florida," said Stave, who also is Dean of Liberty University School of Law founded by the late evangelist Jerry Falwell.
According to Florida4Marriage, closet-case Gov. Charlie Crist signed the petition although he has not commented on the campaign publicly and has said that the Republican party should not pursue a gay marriage ban.

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