I love Amendment 2. The world is going to hell in a handbasket and yet we're worrying about the "sanctity of marriage" again? Deck chairs, meet Titanic.
First of all, anyone who's ever been married knows it's not so sacred -- if you do it right. I like the way Garry Shandling put it a few weeks ago on Bill Maher: I could care less about gay marriage, but I have a huge problem with gay divorce.
But erstwhile "Liberty Counsel" lawyer Matthew Staver of Orlando wants us all to fight another culture war, as laid out nicely by Harris Meyer:
On November 4, Floridians will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment, Amendment 2, spearheaded by the state Republican Party and Christian conservative groups, which would outlaw gay marriage.Hmm. Sounds like a crock of crap to me.
Attorney Matthew Staver, the author of the Florida “Marriage Protection Amendment,” promises that his initiative does nothing more than affirm state law that outlaws same-sex marriage. Amendment 2 absolutely would not affect benefits offered by public agencies and private employers to unmarried partners--same sex or opposite sex--he swears.
But opponents of Amendment 2, including the ACLU of Florida, claim the measure could wipe out a range of rights and benefits for tens of thousands of unmarried domestic partners, both gay and straight. Rights like domestic registries, health insurance, hospital visitation, and health care decision making.
“It’s really wide ranging and scary how broadly this type of amendment has been applied in other states,” says Robert Rosenwald, director of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender]
Advocacy Project of the ACLU of Florida, which is campaigning against
This line of attack infuriates Staver, who drafted the Florida Marriage Amendment and convinced the Florida Supreme Court to qualify it for the ballot. “This affects no domestic partnership laws in Florida and does not undermine any rights or benefits affecting hospital visitation or property rights,” says Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based Christian conservative legal advocacy center.
“This is not about taking away your benefits,” he adds. “The opponents of traditional marriage know the only way they win is by lying. That’s the frustrating thing about this.”
Let's take a closer look at the actual language of this cute little amendment Matt wrote:
Florida’s proposed Amendment 2 states that: “Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”Ok Matt, I can officially say it -- you are full of crap.
The Florida Defense of Marriage Act states in part that “relationships between persons of the same sex which are treated as marriages… are not recognized for any purpose in this state.”
But forget what I think, let's go to the bow-tied and bearded one and see what he thinks:
Bruce Rogow, a prominent Fort Lauderdale appellate lawyer, called “substantial equivalent” a “time bomb.” The phrase “is so vague that it poses a danger to every possible arrangement that might permit same sex couples to have a legally cognizable relationship of any sort.”
Oh well, what's to worry -- I'm sure new Florida Supreme Court Justice Canady will interpret that language fairly toward all the godless sinners who are going straight to hell:
Bob Jarvis, a constitutional law professor at Nova Southeastern University, says he sees no substantive difference between the Florida amendment language and the Michigan amendment. “This is an amendment that could be interpreted lots of different ways, and we really don’t know what the courts will do,” he warns. “Voters don’t know what they’re voting for when they vote for this.”
Beyond that, if and when the marriage amendment returns to the high court, the court probably will be very right-leaning. Gov. Crist, who recently appointed Charles Canady, a Christian conservative, to the Supreme Court, now has another vacancy to fill, and he’s likely to appoint two more new justices before his term ends.
“If Crist continues to appoint people like Canady,” Jarvis says, “then they will clearly vote like Michigan. ”Hey, did somebody mention Governor Crist? Hooray, now I get to post about that totally butch pig roast again!
Wow, first Scottie and now the Governor. Geez if somehow Bo Derek makes news today my work here will be done.