Crist doesn't want state GOP money on anti gay marriage amendment by Mitch E.Perry02/13/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
Governor Charlie Crist thinks the Republican Party of Florida shouldn't spend money to support an effort to put a gay marriage ban into the state constitution.That’s in contrast to the $300,000 that the party gave last year to Florida-four-Marriage-dot-org last year. The group tried to place a question on the November ballot that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The group failed to gather enough signatures and is now aiming for the 2008 ballot. The state Republican Party's contributions account for nearly three-fourths of what the group has raised so far.John Stemberger, who is organizing the ballot effort, says his group will continue to look to anybody for support, Republican or Democrat (roll tape#1 o.q.”of the Party Chairman”)
That new Party Chairman is Crist ally Jim Greer, who told the Tallahassee Democrat that he’d like to see the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the 2008 ballot and would not rule out spending more state GOP money to support it.
Greer said he supports the initiative and acknowledged it could help the Republican Party by drawing socially conservative voters to the polls during the next presidential election.But the titular head of the State Party is Governor Crist, responded when asked about spending state party money (roll tape#2 o.q.”probably not”) Nathan Dunn is with Florida 4 Marriage.org. (roll tape#3 o.q.”for the marriage amendment”)Governor Crist says the party "probably" shouldn't continue to spend money on the effort. Instead, he says, the party should focus on more pressing issues, like insurance premiums and property taxes. Supporters of banning same sex marriage in Florida were initially hoping to get the measure on the ballot last year. But they failed to qualify because they did not get a sufficient number of signatures to turn into the Secretary of State’s office.Nathan Dunn with Florida 4 Marriage.org said his campaign is good shape to get enough signatures on the 2008 ballot (roll tape#4 o.q.”in 2008 “)Meanwhile, organizers behind a movement to oppose such an amendment announced their formation today.Fairness For all Families is made up of a coalition of groups who say the Marriage Amendment would strip away existing benefits while barring the passage of future measures to help Florida families. Pamela Ford is a member of Fairness for All Families. She calls it a matter of unintended consequences (roll tape#5 o.q.”impact of the language”)That’s Pamela Ford from the new group Fairness for All Families. They will work towards educating citizens about the possible negative ramifications to families if the Marriage Amendment passes next year.