Right now, the Miami Herald has a front page story--albeit a small one--on Amendment 2, the attempt to place into the state Constitution the fix for what Pastor Hayes Wicker called "a tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery." Quick recap--Florida currently has 4 laws banning same-sex marriage, but that's not good enough for the nutters--now they want a Constitutional Amendment, and they really don't like it when opponents like SayNo2 point out that this will have greater reach than the nutters are letting on.
"We have been clear and consistent that a court could rule this amendment could take away existing rights and benefits," said Derek Newton, campaign manager for Florida Red and Blue, the organization running the SayNo2 Campaign. "The other side has denied that, and today the Michigan Supreme Court said a similar amendment in Michigan does in fact take away existing benefits and protections from people."These are the facts, and they're really not in dispute--there's a reason why lots of groups not traditionally allied with same-sex marriage are lining up in opposition to Amendment 2--because it's going to mess up their domestic partnerships and they know it.
But this is contemporary journalism, where "balance" means allowing the other side to present its point of view unchallenged, which is why the article ends this way:
But backers of the Florida amendment argue that it won't have any effect on domestic-partner benefits.Stemberger is either stupid or lying--I lean toward the latter--but there's no challenge to his credibility here. Journalists argue that their job is to report, not challenge, but when one side is factually incorrect, and you don't challenge, then you're perpetuating propaganda. Accuracy is not advocacy--it's your job.
"There's no question in my mind that Michigan has very broad language that would preclude domestic partnerships; you can see how overreaching and board[sic] the language is," said John Stemberger, the state chairman of Yes2Marriage.org. "We crafted the language here specifically to protect, not exclude, domestic partnerships."