Friday, October 24, 2008

Say No to Amendment 2

I am proud to join County Commssioners and members of our community to urge our residents to vote against Amendment 2, the so-called Florida's Marriage Protection Amendment. Please read below my comments made at the press conference yesterday.

"I am proud to serve as the Honorary Statewide Co-Chair for Florida Red & Blue.

I’m opposed to amendment 2 because of its vague language which could actually take away important existing benefits like health care from Floridians.

It’s called the Florida Marriage Amendment but I don’t see how this amendment protects anything.

Amendment 2 claims to ban "gay marriage" but Florida already has multiple laws banning same-sex marriage. It is an unnecessary amendment. Gay marriage is already illegal in Florida.

I am proud that in September our City Commission passed a resolution opposing Amendment 2.

It’s also clear that Amendment 2 is bad for business:

If passed, Amendment 2 could make companies and municipalities that currently offer benefits to unmarried employees the targets of legal action. It could damage morale among current employees and dissuade new job candidates from moving here.

By defeating Amendment 2 in November and focusing instead on positive business development efforts, we send a clear message to potential new businesses that this is the place where they want to be.

Similar amendments in other states are being used to take away benefits from public employees and dissolve domestic partnership registries used to provide health care benefits and pensions. Miami-Dade county, Broward and Palm Beach, among others, offer domestic partnership registries. Every unmarried Floridian will be impacted by this amendment - especially divorced or widowed seniors and public employees who, under existing programs, can share some benefits such as hospital visitation privileges and health care coverage without being married. Also, Amendment 2 could force seniors to choose between important benefits like sharing health care and important government benefits.

Amendment 2 could take away job benefits from university employees and be used as a defense to domestic violence - as in other states which passed similar amendments.

To learn more about why you should vote NO on Amendment 2, visit"