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No value changes required to vote no

Gotta shoot, uh, straight with you. I'm fixin' to promote what some folks call the "homosexual agenda."

Didn't want you to think I was trying to sneak anything past you.

I'm promotin', baby.

On this same-sex marriage business, I don't care what somebody else does. Doesn't hurt me or my marriage.

I'm not telling anybody how to run their church, or that they have to change their beliefs. I'm just saying, let's have the same secular rights for everybody.

Liberal moron? Nah. Heck, I'm for gay marriage and Second Amendment gun ownership. I'm also for balanced budgets, tax caps, prison for bad guys and the Big Sleep for really bad guys. Can't pin the L-word on me, coppers.

But I am rattling on. Sorry. My topic is Amendment 2 on our Nov. 4 ballot.

As you know, Amendment 2 would put a ban on same-sex marriage — which is already illegal in Florida — into our state Constitution.

Here is the key point:

You can be opposed to same-sex marriage, and still vote against Amendment 2 for perfectly good reasons.

First of all, same-sex marriage is already illegal in Florida. It stays illegal if Amendment 2 fails. The Legislature isn't going to change that.

My friends who support Amendment 2 say, "But what if a liberal judge throws out that law one day? We need it in the Constitution, too."

I admit that is a fair point. Who knows what a court might do one day?

On the other hand, exactly that question — who knows what a court might do? — is an even better argument against Amendment 2.

The problem is that the amendment does not just ban same-sex marriage.

It also goes on to prohibit anything in Florida that is the "substantial equivalent" of marriage.

What does that mean?

Does it mean domestic partner arrangements? Does it mean health benefits?

Does it affect senior Floridians who have chosen, in their latter years, not to remarry but still share their lives and rights and property with each other?

Does it affect hundreds of thousands of unmarried couples — overwhelmingly heterosexual — who have some sort of similar arrangements?

My friends who are campaigning for Amendment 2 say no. They say that "substantial equivalent" means the full schmear —full-scale marriage hiding behind another label, such as "civil union."

They also say that the Florida Supreme Court settled this question for good when it approved Amendment 2 for the ballot.

It didn't. It approved the ballot language, is all. The real fights are yet to come.

There are rulings in other states that have gone the other way. A Florida court could well rule that Amendment 2 strikes down certain arrangements as the "substantial equivalent" of marriage.

If it passes, I bet you that lawsuits will start flying all over the place, seeking to undo other folks' business.

Again, I don't want anybody to think I am tryin' to fool them. Remember that I'm a homosexual-agenda-promoter. I don't like the amendment, period.

But there is a fine word for sticking with the status quo over the unknown, for not borrowing trouble, for staying out of other people's lives, and for not using the Constitution to ram social beliefs down everybody else's throat.

The word is "conservative."

No value changes required to vote no 10/18/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:39pm]

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