Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Advocate of Florida Amendment 2 challenged

TAMPA — Florida Family Association executive director David Caton was a popular guy at the Tiger Bay Club of Tampa luncheon Friday.

He was there advocating passage of Amendment 2, which asks voters to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The meeting included candidates for political office, but Caton fielded most of the questions.

"What is it that bothers you?" asked longtime club member Mary Lou Tuttle, speaking of Caton's many crusades against gay rights.

Tuttle noted that she is divorced, and that many marriages end that way, without gays having the right to marry. So what's the beef?

Caton answered the question as he usually does: Allow gays to marry, and pretty soon people will be making equal protection constitutional arguments to justify polygamy, pedophilia and other condemned practices.

His main pitch Friday was that the amendment won't affect the rights of other couples who may live together but choose not to marry, gay or straight. He argued that a 2006 Florida Supreme Court case says as much.

Rebecca Steele, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who worked on the case, challenged his account. She said the court merely cleared the issue for ballot, but did not rule on its potential effect. That will come later, when groups can use passage of the amendment to try to kill domestic partnership agreements.

She followed her statement by asking Caton if he would pledge not to work toward ending domestic partnership agreements permitted by some governments that allow unmarried couples — gay or straight — to share benefits.

Caton said he would not.

Bentley Lipscomb, executive director for Florida's AARP, argued that the amendment could hurt seniors who live together but choose not to marry for financial reasons.

"It is going to have more impact on heterosexual couples than it will on same-sex couples," he said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Bill Varian can be reached at varian@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3387.

Advocate of Florida Amendment 2 challenged 10/18/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 20, 2008 2:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.