EQUALITY FLORIDA - Mitch Perry

07/23/04

With the potential to tap as many as 350-thousand voters, Equality Florida is starting a voter mobilization effort aimed at bringing gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals to the polls for the fall elections.

 The Tampa-based human rights group is joining with thirty other

groups in taping the large pool of potential voters, hoping a

strong turnout among those communities could make the difference in

tight elections ranging from the presidential race to local

offices.

Nadine Smith is the Executive Director for Equality Florida...WMMF asked her how big is the potential Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered vote this year?

(roll tape#1 o.q."for political gain")

Last week the U.S. Senate knocked down an attempt to get a Constitutional Amendment banning same sex marriage, but yesterday the House of Representatives passed legislation preventing federal courts from ordering state to recognize same-sex union that took place in other states. Democrats objected to the Bill as an unconstitutional attack on gays and the federal judiciary to satisfy the GOP's political base.

And this November, no less than 11 states plan to have initiatives on their ballots that ban same sex marriage....WMNF asked Nadine Smith from Equality Florida what she thought about this renewed political attack against the gay community (roll tape#2 o.q."we think this is going to back fire")

Groups such as the Florida Consumer Action Network, the Human

Rights Campaign and People for the American Way are among the

groups joining in the effort.

 They'll begin with voter registration drives, including

one that has already begun in Miami-Dade. That will be followed

with telephone banks, door-to-door canvassing and mailings to

encourage voters to either voter early by absentee ballot or turn

out on Election Day.

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