Friday, November 14, 2008

ACLU: Amendment 2 - a futile effort to delay the inevitable

Miami Herald, 11/14/2008

The vote approving Amendment 2 -- the so-called marriage-protection amendment -- was a devastating but temporary setback for the cause of equal treatment for all.

By a 1.9 percent margin, Florida voters prohibited allowing same-sex couples the opportunity to have their relationships legally protected, denying the religious institution of their choice the authority of law 'invested in the institution' to bless the relationship. Arizona and California also voted to add a ban on same-sex marriage to their state constitutions.

Despite the propaganda, gay marriage was not on the ballot. What Floridians approved was a prohibition on the legal recognition of anything 'that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof.' It will take years of lawsuits and countless lawyers to sort out the intended and unintended consequences of this measure.

The forces behind Amendment 2 have said that their mission is accomplished; marriage has been protected. But none of the economic and social pressures on marriage that have resulted in the terribly high divorce rate have been addressed. That would have been an honest program to 'protect marriage.' It remains a mystery how the institution of marriage is 'protected' by denying the right of some people the ability to enjoy its benefits.

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