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Marriage Amendment Approved for November Ballot

February 2nd, 2008 by flanews

This November Floridians will have to decide if they want to ban same-sex marriage. The Marriage Amendment is just one of several issues petitioners tried to put on the ballot. Whitney Ray tells us which groups gathered enough signatures and what opponents of two of the most controversial amendments have to say.

Hear it here: Marriage Amendment Approved for November Ballot

It took years, but Florida4Families finally got enough signatures to put a gay marriage ban on the November ballot. The marriage protection amendment was one of seven petitions submitted to the Division of Elections.

“Only one made it and will be on the ballot this fall and that’s the amendment to prohibit same sex marriage,” said Sterling Ivey, a spokesperson with the Secretary of State.

One controversial petition that didn’t make the ballot was by Home Town Democracy. The proposed amendment would require local referendums on land-use changes. For the first time in Florida’s history a group was able to collect signature to revoke names on the original petition. Barney Bishop, with Save Our Constitution, said his group used the new revocation process to revoke almost 20,000 signatures from the Hometown Democracy petition.

“If they’re not told the truth in the beginning and you tell them you’re version of the truth later on, they have a chance to make a choice,” said Bishop.

Now the only choice left, of the seven petitions, is the marriage amendment. Florida already has a statute banning gay marriage. Supporters of the referendum said it’s not strict enough. They want to change the constitution to make sure the ban will hold up in court. Opponents of the amendment say Florida4Families is misleading voters.

“It’s a much broader agenda that would strip folks of basic rights they have through domestic partnership laws and privileges they enjoy on the corporate side that help them take care of their families,” said Bill Phillips with Fairness for All Families, a group against the amendment.

Groups on both sides of the issue will be campaigning across the state as Floridian’s draw closer to what could be one of the biggest elections in recent history. Since the ban on gay marriage is being proposed as a constitutional amendment, at least 60 percent of the voters would have to approve it.

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