Supporters are claiming that a constitutional amendment to bar gay marriage in Florida — which is already banned by state law — is yet another victim of last year’s hurricanes. The amendment fell 155,000 signatures shy of the 611,000 needed to get on the ballot in 2006, despite a last-minute mobilization that included aircraft and a fleet of vehicles delivering petitions to the state capital.
The real purpose of the initiative was to turn out mouth-breathing voters of the type depicted in that scene from Young Frankenstein
Two other amendments were apparently unaffected by the storms, and will be up for a vote in the fall. One, opposed by Gov. Jeb Bush and Republican lawmakers, would create an independent panel to draw legislative districts. The other would ensure that money awarded to the state in lawsuits against cigarette makers is used to fund anti-smoking campaigns. Florida Times-Union:
“It just didn’t have the kind of financial support that these other ones do,” Bush said. “I think if it was on the ballot, it would pass by two- or three-to-one.”
The Republican Party of Florida put up $150,000 of the $193,000 raised for the anti-gay marriage ban, claiming it was needed to protect against those activist judges we hear so much about, who might take it upon themselves to overturn the law Florida already has. The real purpose of the initiative was to turn out mouth-breathing voters of the type depicted in that scene from Young Frankenstein, when the mob lofts torches and goes after the monster. Jeb is correct that they would likely vote “Hell Yes” in droves.
But lack of popular support isn’t stopping the Florida Catholic Conference, Florida Baptist Convention, and Florida4Marriage.Org, headed by a wingnut personal injury lawyer named John Stemberger in Orlando, from forging ahead. The signatures stay on file for four years, and Stemberger wants to use them to qualify for the 2008 election. He also wants to waste the state Supreme Court’s time reviewing an amendment that won’t even be on the ballot this year. Tallahassee Democrat
…the group still wants the Florida Supreme Court to hold the oral arguments, scheduled for Wednesday, on the language of the proposed amendment…But the court isn’t required to review them until the year they would actually appear on the ballot.
”We’re hopeful they’re going to hear the case and not cancel the hearing,” Stemberger said Thursday. ”If we’re going to get an adverse hearing, we’d rather get that sooner than later.”
Well I guess you would, John, since if they find problems with this idiotic, pandering, hateful enterprise you’ll have to start all over. And there are one or two problems with it.
The ACLU of Florida, along with other gay- and lesbian-rights groups, plan to argue that the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment is deceptive because it could also deny same-sex partners other domestic benefits.