Marriage is love.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It is here ... the signatures are collected... is the Florida LGBT community ready to fight?

Florida Ant-Gay Amendment Moves Forward
by Fidel Ortega Miami Bureau

Posted: August 21, 2005 8:00 pm ET

(Miami, Florida) An umbrella organization of conservative Christian political groups is expected to submit 61,000 signatures to the Florida Supreme Court this week - the first step in getting a proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions on the 2006 ballot.

Under Florida law the signatures are required before the wording on the initiative can be approved. If the signatures are proven valid and the court agrees to the wording, the organization - Florida4Marriage - can begin collecting the 611,000 eligible signatures to put the question to voters.

Florida4Marriage is working with the Christian Coalition of Florida and Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian law firm that is involved in fighting gay marriage and domestic partner benefits in a number of states.

On the weekend, Florida4Marriage said it needed only a few hundred more signatures to submit the issue to the court.

The proposal would amend the state Constitution in 2006 to define marriage as a union between "only one man and one woman" and that no other kind of marriage or legal union is equivalent to marriage.

State law already prevents same-sex couples from marrying but makes no mention of civil unions or partner benefits.

The proposed amendment does not have the backing of Gov. Jeb Bush. Bush has said he considers the amendment unnecessary.

LGBT civil rights group Equality Florida calls the amendment a divisive attempt to keep same-sex couples second class citizens.

A poll taken for the organization shows that the state is split on amending the constitution with 54 percent in favor of barring gay marriage and 55 percent in favor of some sort of legal protection for gay couples.

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