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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Seniors: Amendment 2's new foe?



ST. PETERSBURG -- Opponents of Amendment 2, a measure that would ban gay marriage in Florida, are working on adding seniors to their ranks.

A little more than two dozen senior citizens gathered at the Sunshine Senior Center in St. Petersburg this afternoon for a news conference held by Florida Red and Blue, an organization fighting the amendment.

Speakers talked about how the amendment could affect elderly people who live together. Their current legal protections, such as being allowed to visit each other in the hospital or sharing long-term care decisions, could be taken away if the amendment passes, the organization warned.

Those seniors could be forced to get married, which could make them lose Social Security benefits or their pension plans, said Derek Newton, campaign manager for Florida Red and Blue.

"We wanted people to understand that the consequences of Amendment 2 are far and wide and very dangerous," Newton said.

Speakers at the news conference included Mark Pudlow, spokesman for Florida Education Association and Bentley Lipscomb, who served as secretary for the Department of Elder Affairs under Gov. Lawton Chiles.

Nicole Hutcheson, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:37am]


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