Challenge to Florida's Anti-Gay Relationship Initiative - Case Profile
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The ACLU has filed a brief before the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of six same-sex couples who charge that an anti-gay voter initiative threatening protections for the families of same-sex couples violates the Florida Constitution. The measure being proposed for the 2006 ballot would leave tens of thousands of families legally vulnerable. It would not only block recognition of marriage - it would permanently block civil union protections and threaten existing domestic partnership protections across the state. The brief filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Equality Florida, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights argues that it is unconstitutional to put the initiative to a vote because it violates the single-subject rule of the Florida constitution. The initiative forces voters to decide both whether they want to ban same-sex couples from marriage and whether they want to ban same-sex couples from other types of legal recognition for their relationships, putting voters in the unfair position of making a choice about two separate issues on which there is clearly a large disagreement among the voters. The Florida constitution says is unconstitutional.
Status: Lost at the Florida Supreme Court. The amendment's proponents didn't get enough signatures to get it onto the ballot in 2006, but a similar ban is now on the ballot for 2008.
Proponents of Anti-Gay Initiative Concede It Would Ban Civil Unions and Domestic Partnership Laws