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 [email protected] 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. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest

    BY AMY SCHERZER

    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.