HILLSBOROUGH LAWSUIT FOR THE RIGHT TO GAY MARRAIGE-Andrew Stelzer

07/12/04

A Nationally known lawyer, who used to be a staunch opponent of gay marriage has had a change of heart, and is now filing lawsuits all across the country in defense of the right for same sex couples to wed. As president Bush introduces a bill this week to create a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, several lawsuits have filed in Florida by people seeking to marry their domestic partner of the same sex ---one of these suits was filed to day in Tampa. WMNF’s Andrew Stelzer has the story.

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ACT “President Bush and the republican administration is trying to push through a constitutional amendment that they know they don’t have the votes to pass.

Robin Taylor is the executive director of the equality campaign.

ACT They are playing dirty political to win an election. They are willing to change the constitution away to take away people rights.

Now that same sex marriage is allowed to some degree in Massachusetts, activists are fanning out across the country to continue the fight for equal rights. While changing the publics impression of gay marriage is necessary to gaining society’s acceptance of same sex couples, the real decisions will be made in the courts. Ellis Rubin is hoping to become a champion of the right for same sex couples to marry, he sees it as a way to pay for the close-mindedness and bigotry he had in the past.

ACT -Ellis Rubin “I saw the light, I made a mistake. I joined the military, then after the Anita Bryant situation, I made friends with a lot of gays and lesbians, I realized now I want to apologize.

Sue Clayton and Sheila Cerrao are one of the couples who will be represented by Ellis Rubin in court. They were denied a Hillsborough county marriage license this morning.

ACT- ‘This morning I was denied to marry the woman I love. I deserve the right to marry anyone I love…’

ACT-Sue Clayton ‘Were here to day because were a family and we feel that our family deserves what everyone has. We are pretty ordinary people, go to work, pay our taxes, pay our bills, contribute to the local Christian radio station…we deserve the same respect as other families.

Rubin, flew into Tampa from Miami today; he’s already working on 4 legal challenges to have laws against gay marriage declared unconstitutional. Because of his past life experiences, Ellis is doing it all for free.

ACT “We filed a similar lawsuit in Broward, we filed a federal, then Palm Beach county. This morning Hillsborough, then Orange, then very soon, it will the most important of them all..we are going to test whether or not the Massachusetts license is good in Florida, we will also test Canada, that will be in lawsuit, no one else has done that.

Robin Taylor says with President Bush attempting to outlaw same sex marriage nationwide, it is all the more important to raise awareness in states like Florida, where Bush may think he has support for an anti-gay-marriage agenda.

ACT-Taylor “People asked us why Florida…why not..the laws are some of the most oppressive against gay people, the fight must begin in the most oppressive state. We are here to say to all politicians you can no longer get elected on our back., we are a movement not fighting for our lifestyles..this is about the right to love.

For more information on the movement to legalize same-sex marriage, logon to www.dontamend.com

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

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