Calif Gay Marriage Ruling/FL Marriage Amendment

  Local gay-rights advocates had to have mixed feelings about yesterday’s ruling in California, striking down laws aganist gay marriage.  On the one hand, it legitimizes gay marriage in the nation’s largest state (hey, Ellen DeGeneres immediately announced on her show she’s getting formally engaged to her long-time girlfriend).

  But the Calif. decision may also make it tougher to defeat the proposed FL “Marriage Defined as One Man, One Woman” constitutional amendment on November’s ballot.

  Amendment backers main argument is– sure, FL has a number of laws banning gay marriage, but activist judges can overturn laws at the drop of a hat, so an amendment’s needed.  California has now replaced Massachusetts (where a judge struck down laws against gay marriage several years ago) as the poster child for pro-Amendment Two forces… though you’d have to figure there are more “activist judges” in those 2 states than in relatively conservative Florida.

  Opponents of Amendment 2 have a court case of their own, from Michigan, to rail against.  There, the adoption of an amendment similar to the FL proposal recently led a judge to strike down the domestic-partner registry at Michigan State Univ.  That jeopardized the ability of same-sex partners of Univ. employees to be eligible for insurance benefits, etc.  MSU has tried to re-write its rules to get around that decision– its unclear how the courts will react. 

  Amendment 2 would need 60% support from Florida voters in November to pass, and promises to be a high-profile, big-money contest.

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One Response

  1. I hope that Amendment 2 is approved by Florida voters. While it is important to treat our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters fairly, the traditional family must be recognized as a source of strength. The vast majority of Floridians across party lines oppose gay marriage and do not want to redefine the institution of marriage. I am a labor Democrat who has spent his whole life fighting for the fair treatment of minorities. We should certainly consider some form of domestic partnership legislation for same sex couples. Gay bashing and employment discrimination against gays must be vigorously opposed but we must also recognize that the traditional family is the basic building block of our society.

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