A ban on same-sex marriage may be added to the Florida Constitution after the Nov. 4 election.
“Voters should understand the details before voting,” said Peggy Ramsey, president of the League of Women Voters.
Amendment 2 reads, “In as much as a 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.”
Those who oppose the ban argue it discriminates against gays.
“When I go to weddings I realize it is something I can never do… it is hurtful,” said Terry Poore, a member of the Tallahassee community.
If passed, the Amendment could take healthcare benefits away from unmarried Floridians. That means no more benefits for legally recognized relationships, no matter the gender.
As a result, partners would have increased insurance costs, no visitation rights in hospitals, or no benefits granted if a partner dies.
“When it comes to life or death situations you’re nothing to the state,” said Susan Gage, a member of the Tallahassee community.
There are already Florida statutes banning gay marriage in Florida. This amendment however, prohibits judges from changing the law in the future. Judges were able to overturn the “gay ban” in California, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
“It is like the government hates you so much now they want to put it in the constitution,” Gage said.
Supporters argue that marriage should be between a man and a woman only. Yes2Marriage.com, sponsors of the initiative, say it only affects the protection of marriages.
“This will not effect anyone’s rights…I am just amazed at how some people can sit there and lie with a straight face!” said David Williams, Leon county grassroots coordinator.
For more information about Amendment 2, please visit www.yes2marriage.com.