FLORIDA: Activists Gear Up To Place Same-Sex Marriage Ban Repeal On Ballot
Saying they have no confidence that the coming Supreme Court rulings will change things for Florida, activists there say they are gearing up to place a repeal of that state's constitutional ban on the ballot. They've got a tough battle ahead of them.
"We think it's going to be a wake-up call for a lot of people who are thinking that the Supreme Court is going to rule and the next day they can finally get married," said Equality Florida executive Nadine Smith. It would take 60 percent of the state's voters to repeal the amendment. And to even get on the ballot it would require either action by the Legislature — which won't happen while both chambers are nearly two-thirds Republican — or a petition drive that would require the signatures of 683,149 registered voters. Smith said she believes a majority of Floridians now support same-sex marriage. "All of us know people who have gone from a place of staunch opposition to actual support and we're seeing more and more of that," Smith said. Still, the 60 percent threshold is a concern. The group plans to use rallies, T-shirts, bumper stickers and celebrities and elected officials who do support same-sex marriage to garner support for the idea.Florida's ban on marriage passed in 2008 by margin of less than 2% after have been endorsed by then GOP Gov. Charlie Crist, who has since become a Democrat and flipped on the issue.