"... and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Florida law prohibits same-sex unions and criminalizes adoption of children by gays and lesbians. Yet many politicians, religious leaders and voters are convinced that additional discriminatory language must be added to the state constitution to protect heterosexual marriage.
The proposed Florida Marriage Protection Amendment reads:
"Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."
"If Florida voters pass this constitutional amendment, not only will hundreds of thousands of tax-paying gay and lesbian couples forever be denied equal access to civil marriage, but all other forms of legal recognition, including domestic partnerships and civil unions, may no longer be valid or recognized." (Know Thy Neighbor)
Leading foes of equal rights identified by name
This week the Christ Church of Peace, a nondenominational church in Jacksonville, launched a campaign to identify the sponsors, endorsers, and 400,000 Florida petitioners who support the amendment. The campaign was quickly denounced by groups that support the initiative.
"It's a gross invasion of people's privacy," said John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, an offshoot of James Dobson's national Christian conservative group Focus on the Family. (Miami Herald)
To santimonious gay bashers, the dissemination of public records -- by a church, no less -- is simply more evidence of the persecution of true Christians. Their reaction to losing the flimsy cloak of anonymity reveals the typical, unsurprising hypocrisy that marks all their self-righteous crusades of prejudice, intolerance and hate.
In perusing the list of amendment petitioners, I found not only many of my own neighbors (one next door, in fact), but family members (near and far), friends (straight and gay), and past business and professional associates; names of women who have married and divorced numerous times; names of married men who have conducted sexual affairs with married women (and with other men); names of convicted felons and their parents; names of people who never question the financial subsidies (medical, Social Security, retirement and other benefits) they and their families derive from gays and lesbians whose families are excluded from equal benefits and legal security; names of parents guilty of abusing and neglecting their own children; names of those who support state laws that deny countless foster children a permanent, loving family.
Read, and weep.