Floridians for and against Amendment Two speak about new advances for gay rights

06/03/08 Arielle Stevenson
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In a 4-3 vote, California recently overturned a ban on same sex marriages. Shortly after that, New York Gov. David Paterson announced that all marriages performed out of state would be considered legal.

Meanwhile in Florida, an amendment is on the ballot for November that would effectively ban gay marriage and state in the constitution that it be solely between a man and a woman.

Dan Renzi is editor of South Florida’s weekly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual newspaper, Express. He spoke to WMNF about how California and New York’s decisions could affect Florida voters' choices at the polls.

Renzi says this amendment is more than just an issue of banning gay marriage, it will affect benefits for unmarried couples. However he says that the issue of it discriminating against the GLBT community should be enough.

Terry Kemple is a proponent of the amendment and president of the Community Issues Council, a group which advocates Christian morals in the community. Kemple is also the chairman for Hillsborough County in the effort to pass Amendment 2.

In a recent editorial, amendement activist John Stemberger wrote: “If we permit same sex couples to marry, on what rational, logical, consistent basis, do we then deny marriage to the polygamists in Texas.”

Robin Bodiford, an attorney from Fort Lauderdale, former president of Americans for equality and opponent of the legislation says that argument is nothing new.

Express editor Dan Renzi says that marriage is and always has been between two people.

Kemple says overturning the gay marriage ban in California is a result of what he calls “four liberal activists judges.”

Today, Qunnipiac University released a poll stating that Florida voters would support a constitutional amendment that specifically defines marriage as between a man and a woman, 58-37 percent.

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