Main | Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cloudy Times In Sunshine State

The anti-gay Florida4Marriage has gathered 597,000 signatures on a petition demanding that same-sex marriage be outlawed statewide. When they reach 610,000 signatures, an amendment to the state constitution will be placed on 2008 ballot. The amendment would need a 60% vote to pass, something polls indicate it would get.

Gay marriage is already illegal in Florida, because it is a state that adopted the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Writing that into the state constitution would prevent state judges from overturning the law to allow gay marriage, as the Supreme Court did in Massachusetts. But in some states, bans similar to the one proposed in Florida have opened the door to lawsuits challenging all domestic partnership benefits.

In Florida, cities such as Tampa, Gainesville and Miami Beach have domestic partner registries, where unmarried couples, gay or straight, can sign up and be allowed to share health insurance benefits in government jobs, and also receive medical cards allowing each other to visit in the hospital.
Opponents of the amendment point out that the new law would open up the private sector to lawsuits regarding domestic partners benefits. Using last year's successful example in Arizona, pro-gay forces are concentrating on the specter of lawsuits in their campaign against the proposed amendment.

(Via - Bilerico Project.)

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