When the opinions editor pitched this topic, the answer was “no.” But then came my realization that student journalists must not only present the simple college issues, but tackle the controversial ones as well.
The Florida Marriage Protection Amendment will be on the ballots in November.
But taking a closer look, most people are probably thinking what does this mean? The ballot on Nov. 4 will look like this:
Supporters for this amendment say it protects marriage as the legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.
Impulsively, many might assume the answer for many heterosexual conservatives will be, “Yes to Amendment two!” Marriage, defined as “the union of a man and a woman” should be legally valid and continue to include the “full rights.”
But this amendment has an ulterior motive.
After reading through Amendment 2, it is about more than marriage. It is about every individual’s right.
This amendment specifies that if passed, civil unions or any other legal union will not receive the same benefits and legal protection as a traditional marriage under federal law.
Some critics of the amendment claim for example, if one partner in an unmarried relationship has a medical emergency, the other will not have visitation rights at the hospital or access to terminal-care documents.
In some instances, couples may not claim one another on his or her insurance. But this is not always true.
According to Factcheck.org, civil unions are legal in states like New Jersey, Vermont and New Hampshire.
In these states, people in civil unions are able to receive state tax and health insurance benefits, and even guardianship and decision-making authority for a medically incapacitated partner.
But is it fair to give roommates, best friends and significant others the same rights as people who are legally married? If so, what is the point of marriage? It is about more than just marrying your college sweetheart.
The purpose of a marriage license is to legitimize a union under the federal government. It is about becoming one with a person spiritually, emotionally, and guess what?-financially and legally too.
It’s about joint finances, taxes, property, insurance and other rights.
Not being married would not affect someone the same way financially as in a marriage; each person could have their own house, legal rights to income, and property. The point is, why not choose a civil union instead of marriage, because when it comes down to it, a person can leave the union the same way they entered.
In particular, GLAD website claims the federal government does not acknowledge civil unions.
Partners in the union do not receive Social Security rights, family insurance, and other critical legal protections guaranteed with marriage.
However, if Amendment 2 is not passed, then Florida would have to readjust it laws to extend insurance, social security and tax benefits to accommodate long-term relationships and civil unions.
Ultimately, a marriage and a civil union are not the same.
We must pay close attention to the underlining meaning of this proposal.
Candice Montgomery is a senior magazine production student a senior from Ft. auderdale. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org