Mike Mayo's column in today's Sun-Sentinel tells some beautiful stories, and it's worth reading just for that. But it won't be enough just to read his column, because he's talking about a larger issue that will be decided, in part, in just about a month. He's talking about Amendment 2.
What's sad is that his last sentence is exactly right. Forget about the potential for legalizing civil unions or same-sex marriage in Florida--right now we're just trying to stop Amendment 2 from putting another layer of hate on top of the other four laws that already make same-sex marriage illegal in Florida.
Same-sex couples exist, and they're raising loving families.
In that respect it doesn't matter what state law, which bans gay marriage and gay adoption, or the Florida Constitution says.
Except it does matter. For these families, life would be easier, less stressful and more just if the state gave them the same rights as heterosexuals.
For now, they'll consider it victory enough if an amendment that codifies inequality doesn't get the 60 percent needed for approval.
Think about that for a second. Four other laws make same-sex illegal in Florida. So why push for Amendment 2?
It can't be because they're afraid a federal judge will overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and force the state to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and this will protect them, because it won't. If SCOTUS overturns DOMA, it won't matter what our state constitution says, because it will bow to federal precedent.
It can't be because there's a move to legalize same-sex marriage in this state, because for us to beat this thing, we need 40% of the vote, and we're dangerously close to not getting that. Trust me--there's no groundswell of support for gay marriage in Florida. Would that there were.
So all that's left is cynicism. Ugly, hateful cynicism. It's a way to get conservatives to the polls in a Presidential election year, pure and simple. It's worked in other states, and they're hoping it will work here. We only need 40% folks, but it would be awesome if we sent this down to a major defeat. Say No to Amendment 2.