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.