ACLU of Florida Statement on Amendment 2

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
November 5, 2008 12:00 am

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ACLU of Florida
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MIAMI – The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida today released the following statement, which can be attributed to Howard L. Simon, Ph.D, Executive Director, ACLU of Florida:

“The backers of Amendment 2 claimed that the amendment was only intended to protect marriage, and not to attack domestic partner registries and health benefits. If that is indeed what they wanted, they should have used that language, but the broad language they used may carry with it further consequences.

“Proponents of Amendment 2 also claimed that the Florida Supreme Court has already ruled that the amendment does not affect domestic partnerships or domestic partner benefits. If true, then they have no basis for challenging these arrangements in court. We will take the opposition at their word that this was not their intention; but should they try to topple these rights for so many Floridians, we will meet them at the courthouse steps. It could take courts years to sort out the implications of the dangerously vague language: ‘treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof.’

“I fear that Floridians were misled by the disingenuous ballot language. Regardless of their views on marriage, Floridians do not want to punish gay people or deny them health benefits. The discriminatory language that will now be written into our state’s guiding document may go far beyond limiting marriage to threaten health and other benefits for all Floridians—gay and straight.

“Floridians support domestic partnership health benefits for unmarried couples. This is evident by the growing number of communities, counties and businesses that support partnership and health benefits for unmarried couples.

“We as a state have come so far since the dark days of Anita Bryant, but we are in danger of the vocal minority taking us back to a darker period in Florida’s history.”

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