Florida Fairytale or Tale of Terror?

Courting Equality Draft a constitutional amendment that is divisive and sweeping in its possibilities for endangering committed and established relationships of all Floridians, straight and gay, and call it the “Florida Marriage Protection Amendment.” Make sure that it’s ambiguous enough to ultimately be able to do away with domestic partnerships that are recognized in a number of Florida municipalities. Use seemingly transparent language, “Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.” Consider the legal arguments that can be hung on “substantial equivalent.”

Just pretend that the amendment is aimed only at preventing the marriage equality of same-sex couples and that it is vitally needed. Posture that the 1997 Florida Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) statute is not solid enough to prevent “activist” judges from undoing it. Keep up the pretense for four years as you gather the requisite 611,009 signatures to place the amendment on the November 2008 ballot. When you get 612,192 signatures by late December 2007, weeks before the February 1, 2008 deadline, hold a press conference in Orlando and announce it with fanfare. More

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