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Gay Marriage Debate Rages

October 22nd, 2008 by flanews

With just 13 days to go until the election the debate over a constitutional ban on gay marriage is raging in Florida. Millions of dollars have been poured into the fight and as Whitney Ray tells us, opponents of the ban are calling their rivals on the carpet over how they raised their campaign contributions.

Hear it Here: Gay Marriage Debate Rages

Gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, so supporters of a Florida ban on same sex marriages brought Massachusetts parents Rob and Robin Wirthlin here to tell their story.

“He came home from school one day and he told us about a book his teacher had read. It was about a prince who didn’t marry a princess, he married another prince. We were so surprised,’ said Robin.

Supporters of Amendment 2 raised more than a million dollars to push a constitutional ban on same sex marriages.

Opponents of the amendment have filed a complaint with the state saying Yes2Marriage broke election laws while collecting campaign contributions.

The group raised money through a third party charity in order to hide their donors’ identities. Yes2Marriage Chairman John Stemberger said so what.

“We’ve done everything legal. If our opponents don’t like it, then they’ll have to change the law,” said Stemberger.

While the state was busy investigating the complaint, Stemberger and Progress Florida Policy Director Damien Filer debated the issue on a popular web show. Filer says if Amendment 2 passes, couples who live together, gay or straight will suffer.

“What this is about is a threat to benefits, to health care benefits in Florida,” said Filer.

“This has nothing to do with benefits,” said Stemberger.

Whether or not benefits for domestic partners would be affected is still unclear, but no matter what side wins, one thing is certain, gay marriage will remain illegal in Florida, since the state already passed a legislative ban. Opponents of the ban are asking television stations to pull the Yes2Marriage ads until the state finishes its investigation into the group’s campaign financing.

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