Same Sex Couples Get ' Married' in Tampa by Mitch E. Perry

WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday

A day after Governor Charlie Crist said he hoped the State GOP wouldn’t continue to fund a group that is trying to ban same sex marriage in the state, a group of activists  protested the fact that gays cannot get married by trying to get a license from the Hillsborough Clerk of the Courts today.


(roll tape#1 o.q.”yes, there is a law”) That was Gwen Reddick from the Hillsborough County Clerk’s office, telling the young couple, Lorna & Lexie, that they could not get a marriage license on this Valentine’s  Day.


2 other couples tried to get a license  but of course, were also denied.  For the 4th  

year in row, same sex couples in Tampa went through the ritual of being rejected by the state, before then being ‘married’ as it were, across the street, in Joe Chillura Square in downtown Tampa (roll tape#2 o..q”you may kiss”)


Among the couples that went thru the mock ceremony was Terry Ames and Alberta Moses, who have been together for the last 27 years (roll tape#3 o.q. “what every one else has”)


Currently, same sex marriage is legal only in the state of Massachusetts.  Their Supreme Court ruled that way in 2003….Some Cities – like San Francisco, and New Paultz, New York, followed suit, before being shut down by the courts.


Coordininating today’s ceremonies was the Reverend Phyllis Hunt, who has led such events since that Massachusetts Ruling.  Not only does the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act ban same sex marriages in the country, but there is a push to have such a measure placed on the ballot as a Constitutional Amendment next year. 


There are other countries, like Canada and Spain, that do allow for such legal couplings.

The Reverend Phyllis Hunt from the Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa says its time for the US to do so as well (roll tape#4o.q.”in the United States”)

Lorna Bracewell and her girlfriend, Lexie say they will have their own ceremony in May.

(roll tape#5 o.q.”double whammy”)


There are many states, and private companies, that honor Civil Unions, and grant some legal protections to those couples.  But gay marriage supporters say that there are a thousand legal rights that married couples have in this country that those who have civil unions do not .  Again Phyllis Hunt (roll tape#6 o.q.”of all people”)


Along with Massachusetts being the only state in the union that observes same sex marriage, Currently, Vermont, New Jersey, and Connecticut are the only states that have legalized same sex unions.


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